by by Rev. Karen Linsley, M.A., Interim Minister
I went outside tonight to check on my gardens and just stopped and observed. I listened to the silence. I noticed the views. I saw the little sprouts coming up. I saw some new cherry tomatoes forming. I felt the coolness of the air.
I saw the partial moon, and knew I could get a shot of it with my yucca in the foreground if I angled my cell phone just right. And I was almost overcome by a feeling of gratitude. Sometimes I wonder how I got here, then I remember, I know precisely how I got here. I got here with conscious intention. But sometimes I listen more to that bad wolf than I do the good wolf. You know, the ones in the old Native American Indian story about the two wolves, and the little kid, and the kid is asking the elder about whether the bad wolf or the good wolf wins? And the elder responds: “the one you feed wins.” We feed the wolf by believing what it is telling us. The bad wolf tells me a zillion different bad things. If I choose to believe them, the bad wolf wins. And all sorts of bad things happen. The good wolf assures me, renews my faith, supplies me with things like gratitude, reaffirms my good, guides me. And if I listen to the good wolf, all sorts of good things happen. The good wolf has me say yes to the good in my life, and no to the stuff that doesn’t serve me so well. The bad wolf does the opposite. I use a lot of tools to feed the good wolf and starve the bad one. And some days, yeah, I have to use those tools more frequently than others. But today was not one of those days. It began with a two hour meeting on zoom. Now, for most people, that doesn’t sound like an ideal way to spend two hours. But for me it was wonderful. Because I spent those two hours with a group of folks who are experienced and skilled at feeding the good wolf, and not afraid to talk about it when the bad wolf pops up. Then I drove up to the lake and did a wedding. It was a nice couple, and like many of my last minute elopements, this couple had known one another for many many years, and they just knew it was time. All the tourists were at the golf thing, so traffic wasn’t bad and neither was parking. And I saw people I know, because even after being gone from Tahoe for ten years, I still can’t go anywhere up there without running into people I know. And got a surprise invite to the home of a good friend who was hosting a garden party for an up and coming author, and I got to talk with her about editing and publishing, and hear about her book. I said yes to that invite, when normally I wouldn’t have. But see, the bad wolf has been pretty active lately and I knew that by going to that garden party that bad wolf would calm down and the good wolf would come out to play. Came home, meditated (one of those tools I mentioned earlier), napped for a bit, made dinner, then out to the garden I went, where I go almost every night at sunset time, and where I felt that gratitude. Life is good. Thank you.