(Tyler interned with us this past summer).

I don’t know why I stopped. Something about the evening air dazed me. Wildflowers writhed on top of the shed, caught in the whirl of wind chime songs. I stood silent below the porch steps, my shadow wearing thin across the grass.

Where was I going? Did I find what I was looking for? Who knows. My worries had wilted with the day.

From the garden vegetables to the bees above, everything hummed with progress without my help and without my concern. I might as well have been a tree. Left alone, but eerily at peace.

Yet, I was not alone. Inches below my fingertips, the red tufts of a fox’s ear pointed up to greet me. The mother fox stared into the evening with similar pause. She stood resolute. Her nostrils flared, intent on sniffing out a piece of the wind to gnaw on.

I jumped back, limbs tense. The fox never even blinked. How does she not fear me? A few moments passed until finally she cocked her head, meeting her restless, hazel eyes with mine. It doesn’t have to be like this, between you and me, she seemed to say. Then, without a bark or bite, she walked leisurely away.

An encounter with a stranger. An immersion in the land. A call to be still. My summer.

In the solitude of Mt. Irenaeus, the day offered many opportunities to see the world differently than before. To see the unity of Christ and the communion of the Trinity in all things.

In the mundane tasks of digging holes or clearing trails. In the fellowship of a meal and the quiet of community prayer. God repeatedly called me to be awed, to be scared, to open my eyes. To make all things new in Christ.