The Melody Separated by Rests

Music rests

He withdrew… to a solitary place (Matthew 14:13).

There is no music during a musical rest, but the rest is part of the making of the music. In the melody of our life, the music is separated here and there by rests. During those rests, we foolishly believe we have come to the end of the song. God sends us time of forced leisure by allowing sickness, disappointed plans, and frustrated efforts. He brings a sudden pause in the choral hymns of our lives, and we lament that our voices must be silent. We grieve that our part is missing in the music that continually rises to the ear of our Creator. Yet how does a musician read the rest? He counts the break with unwavering precision and plays his next note with confidence, as if no pause were ever there.

God does not write the music of our lives without a plan. Our part is to learn the tune and not be discouraged during the rests. They are not to be slurred over or omitted, nor used to destroy the melody or to change the key. If we will only look up, God Himself will count the time for us. With our eyes on Him, our next note will be full and clear. If we sorrowfully say to ourselves, “There is no music in a rest,” let us not forget that the rest is part of the making of the music. The process is often slow and painful in this life, yet how patiently God works to teach us! And how long He waits for us to learn the lesson!–John Ruskin

Featured photo: Landscape, 1867, by Asher Brown Durand

Learning Condor Monitoring

Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

I came to the Grand Canyon to learn, to experience and to become better equipped to serve as an advocate for wild places and wildlife. Now that things have settled a bit and I’ve been able to establish a workable studio and writing schedule, I’m ready to dig in. Next week, I’ll start learning how to do condor monitoring (telemetry and more) and will likely devote a late morning every week or every other week looking for activity. As I write this, most of the condors are at the canyon’s river or in Utah (where it’s warmer) but a chick did fledge a few months ago and, yesterday, a ranger told me he thought he’d seen a condor floating just below Kolb. California Condors are the largest land bird in the U.S. (nine-foot wingspan!) and their numbers had gotten down to just two dozen. They’ve been brought back from the brink of extinction and now number in the hundreds. I am SO delighted to have been offered this opportunity to work with the park service and am eagerly awaiting my first glimpse of a condor!!!

Juvenile California Condors. Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Juvenile California Condors. Photo by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

When all the dangerous cliffs are fenced off. . .

“When all the dangerous cliffs are fenced off, all the trees that might fall on people are cut down, all of the insects that bite are poisoned…all of the grizzlies are dead because they are occasionally dangerous, the wilderness will not be made safe. Rather, the safety will have destroyed the wilderness.” – R. Yorke Edwards