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Nirek On June - 26 - 2014

I don’t care what you call it, but there is something we all think of as God, Mother Nature, or some kind of Higher Power.

For me a born catholic, Jesus is God but I revere Him for the wonderful creatures on this planet. I live at the end of a dead end road in Vermont and witness God’s creations every day. I count myself as one of the luckiest on this earth. Just this afternoon I saw a fox come up onto my porch and get birdseed out of my feeder. Just a young healthy fox. But so beautiful.  A few days ago my wife and I were in the kitchen and we saw a turkey vulture  standing twenty feet away. It was walking along the bank and his feet were huge.  After a while he took flight and what a graceful flyer!

Deer, raccoons, possums, foxes, and lots of birds like turkeys, indigo buntings, cardinals, blue jays, and many others all come here and I hope feel safe. It is spiritual for me.  God made some beautiful animals and some of them  grace me with their presence.

I feel closer to God when I’m out in my woods cutting firewood  than I do in a church.

Turkey Vulture flying in Miami, Florida, USA.

Turkey Vulture flying in Miami, Florida, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turkey Vulture in Miami, Florida, USA.

Turkey Vulture in Miami, Florida, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Written by Nirek

Proud progressive Vietnam Vet against WAR! Can't stomach chickenhawks.

68 Responses so far.

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  1. Nirek says:

    Thanks all for the very kind things you have written here. You all touched my heart. I didn’t think this post would get many replies. You folks always surprise me, pleasantly. I am awe struck that you all seem to feel similarly.

    Peace to all of you.

  2. VegasBabe says:

    I feel ya Nirek!

  3. Beatlex says:

    Do I believe in an all powerful being watching over every move we make? No,My higher power is the wonder of the Universe,and all it contains.Like the life we have here on Earth.And mans(and women’s) ability to appreciate it all.

    • Nirek says:

      Beatlex, all this time I felt that I was alone in feeling this way. You and all the rest of my friends here at the Planet make me feel good about our world, thanks.

  4. Kalima says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post, Nirek, it’s a subject close to my heart that I can relate to every day. A beautiful sunrise and sunset can make me cry. Forests and mountains feel like home. Animals inspire me with their innocence, and watching things grow fills me with awe.

    I live in a busy city but never really notice the light blocking from tall buildings. Instead I focus on the trees that three weeks ago had just a few leaves, and now stand majestic in the place they have owned for decades.

    Although we don’t see wild animals here, I do have the pleasure of feeding countless strays and an ever increasing number of sparrows who are no longer afraid of me, and fly to the ground together like a velvet, brown blanket when I put out their food. It starts off my morning so perfectly.

    My favourite time of the day is Dawn and Twilight, and don’t turn on the lights until it actually gets dark. Whoever designed this beautiful place called Earth, made it so breathtakingly beautiful that sometimes, for a few seconds or even minutes, it can take away the pain we all experience during our lives. They knew what they were doing and I thank them every day.

    Here are two poems by William Wordsworth who says it so much better than I ever could.


    William Wordsworth

    Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.
    The kine are couched upon the dewy grass;
    The horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,
    Is cropping audibly his later meal:
    Dark is the ground; a slumber seems to steal
    O’er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.
    Now, in this blank of things, a harmony,
    Home-felt, and home-created, comes to heal
    That grief for which the senses still supply
    Fresh food; for only then, when memory
    Is hushed, am I at rest. My Friends! restrain
    Those busy cares that would allay my pain;
    Oh! leave me to myself, nor let me feel
    The officious touch that makes me droop again.


    I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    And twinkle on the milky way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    Along the margin of a bay:
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced; but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
    A poet could not but be gay,
    In such a jocund company:
    I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.

    Thanks again, Nirek. Peace.

    • Lovely words indeed, and quite true, but, let us not forget that when Mama Nature gets riled, holy Jeebus, look out! That is also a part of Nature that leaves me awestruck, even though I could perish in an instant in the midst of such “rath.”

      It is poetry indeed to ascribe human qualities to such an awesome force.

      • Kalima says:

        I know KT, we had the disasters in 2011 to prove the “angry earth” theory, and experience her wrath almost every week. So as much as I love her, I respect her power even more.

        I posted this on MB over a week ago, and found it fascinating.

        Scientists find evidence of ‘oceans’ at Earth’s centre

        In a discovery that could explain why water covers so much of our planet’s surface, scientists find evidence of vast underground “oceans” trapped hundreds of miles beneath the Earth’s surface


        • Nirek says:

          Kalima, this could be the answer to my question. What happens to the void made when the oil is removed from underground? Water fills that void? Maybe.

        • I’m pretty sure you have seen the old movie, “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” with James Mason. They encountered an ocean at the center of the Earth. This is what I thought of when I first read of this discovery.

          Jules Verne had some amazing flights of fancy, many of them turning out to become reality.

        • Kalima, I was actually thinking of what Japan went through even as I wrote what I did. I completely agree. Such power is mind boggling, even when it takes human life, or especially when it takes human life.

          I sometimes see it as a reminder to all those who convince themselves that mankind has “conquered,” Nature!

          I was in Hurricane Irene, or should I say her tail end. That was incredibly scary, but at the same time, just awe inspiring.

          It’s like when we truly look at the universe we live in (greatly buffered by location and time), and we see the immensity of it all, we truly are just grains of sand.

          I wouldn’t exactly call the “angry Earth,” a theory. Poetic expression, but surely no theory.

          • Kalima says:

            I agree KT, we can never underestimate her or be foolish enough to say we have conquered her. All we have done is to afford ourselves better protection. Here it’s building stronger foundations that will withstand a direct 7.0 earthquake. Or building stronger and higher tsunami protection walls, but no one really knows until it actually happens, and the news that an expected huge earthquake will devastate the Kanto region, which is also Tokyo, is enough to make the heart pump faster each time we shake.

            The angry earth is what I’ve called her since I first came to Tokyo and experienced my first ever earthquake while having a bath. It’s a wonder I’m still around to talk about it because after it was over and my heart stopped pounding, I was thinking of packing my suitcase to move back to sanity. Then I remembered I was married.

            • Kalima says:

              You certainly have seen things, and I too will stay in this shaky land for the sheer beauty of autumn here, the cherry blossom season, the speed at which things grow, and of course to take care of my furry and feathered friends, even if the radiation from Daiichi is in the groundwater and has been discovered here in Tokyo.

              This is my home now for better or worse, there is no other place to return to anymore, so I will make the best of it, and hope we survive whatever comes our way.

              Stay safe and happy.

            • Ah, the heart makes us brave. And that is wonderful.

              I lived in Southern California in the late 80s and have experienced three earthquakes. They were not huge earthquakes, in the high 5.0s and low 6.0s on the Richter scale, but they definitely give you a brand new perspective on just how solid we think our ground is.

              I grew up and now live in the midwest America. Tornado country for sure. I’ve been very fortunate through the years, never to be hurt or lose loved ones in these extreme Natural events. But wow. Just the realization of such immense power is a very humbling thing.

              I also lived in Washington State for a year. I could see Mt. St. Helens from my bedroom window, or what was left of it.

              Three thousand feet of dirt, rock and solid stone were blown off the top of that mountain in a matter of minutes.

              But I’ll take all the flowers and budding trees and passive animals I can get. It’s all one thing. One wondrous, scary, beautiful thing.

    • Nirek says:

      Kalima, I am in awe of your way with words. The poems are beautiful, thanks for them.
      You are right about seeing the beauty around us. All we have to do is open our eyes and minds. There is so much beauty that we overlook every day.
      Thanks for just being you, Kalima. Like all the pictures you post on MB. Specially the photos of animals. They inspire me.

      • Kalima says:

        Nirek, you have made me blush, but in a good way. 😳

        Thank you for you kind words, they make me want to do better. Will be back with MB on Sunday.

        Peace to you and yours.

  5. cyndibru says:

    Beautiful post, Nirek. I’ll share my favorite poem about nature.

    by Gerard Manley Hopkins

    The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

    Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

    Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

    And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

    Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

    And for all this, nature is never spent;

    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

    And though the last lights off the black West went

    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

    Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      A Jesuit Priest no less!

    • Nirek says:

      Cyndi, thanks for both the compliment and the poem. There is nothing political about either and I like to get away from the politics for a while. I’m glad you like it. I am so impress by you every post you make.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Did you see my Carrie Underwood video and the supposed Matching Poem “How Great Thou Art”? I did it in a hurry..I think I may have been your first respondent….well hurrying is made possible by not double checking. If you tried to match up the words in the script to the music, you discovered what I just did…they do not match. There are apparently dozens of versions of this poem/hymn.

        Nonetheless, the message remains..How Great Thou Art!

    • kesmarn says:

      A great favorite of Thomas Merton’s.

  6. monicaangela says:


    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Wendell Berry

    Yes, there is peace in all that you see in your neck of the woods Nirek, the peace that comes from the spirit and from the soul, the soul that binds you to those things you see, we and all that surrounds us are one.

    • Nirek says:

      Monica, thanks. I feel like I am the luckiest guy to live here with all God’s creatures.

      • monicaangela says:

        You are lucky, the scene you paint of just an average day looking out into your surroundings is breath taking, however, there are many that would see what you have seen and not view it with such admiration as you do. I am happy your heart is open enough to take in the beauty of this world…eyes see, but the heart reveals. Again, this was an excellent article Nirek, I would like to see you expound upon your views of God, Mother Nature, and the power that is higher…the creator. 🙂

        • Nirek says:

          Monica, I never thought anyone would read this simple post of mine. I wrote it because Mother Nature has not made junk. Everything in nature has some beauty to it. Even the skunk is kinda pretty. It just smells bad to us.

  7. Nice post Nirek. As you know, I just spent the last three months on Cape Cod, helping my elderly mother.

    I arrived in early March when all the trees were bare, flowers had not yet popped up anywhere, and barely an animal was seen. We did get about five inches of snow one night and when I awoke the next morning, the world around me was so beautiful it would not be easy to describe. just awesome to see. Picture post card pretty.

    As the weeks went on, flowers began to pop up, the trees were starting to bud and birds and squirrels came around more and more. My mom has a really nice yard, surrounding her little home. There are bushes of several types, trees and flowers, both planted and wild. By the end of April, her little neighborhood in the woods was stunning in it’s natural beauty.

    I had seen this many times throughout the years, and even would remark now and then, how nice everything was. Ah, but this year, I really SAW just how beautiful everything there is. I guess it’s because I’m growing older, but my appreciation for it all was stronger than ever.

    Yes, Nature is a true wonder. Nature is everything, including ourselves.

    • Nirek says:

      KT, we all have different beliefs. But if there is a God and he/she created this world he/she did a wonderful job.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I think that you and I are a bit pantheistic in all of this….I operate from a position as a Christian Humanist….for you it is more eclectic but still inspirational I think.

      We look at nature and say…..”Ah! And there it is.”

      • Hey Murph. Actually, I’m an atheist, technically speaking. I’m a Taoist, to a certain degree. There are no supreme beings in Taoism, but it is very spiritual and Nature is the focal point in all of it.

        No rules, no scripture, no dogma really, just what I like to call ancient Chinese wisdom. It’s a collection of 81 ideograms that serve as a guide to living, with Nature as the supreme example.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or, alternately, that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God (the Force?).

          Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god. Many Eastern religions/life philosophies are considered to be pantheistically inclined.

          That was my hook to your Taoism.

          • Absolutely correct Murph. I mistook pantheism, for polytheism. Hence my statement about “technically,” being an atheist.

            I’ve always had difficulty believing in any sort of anthropomorphic deity.

            Yes, I think we’re pretty much on the same page “metaphysically.”

            Funny you mention the “Force.” I think George Lucas knew a good deal about the Tao Te Ching. Of course, using artistic license, he made it a bit fantastical for the big screen. When I really think about it, how can the real thing possibly be any more fantastical?

            • Nirek says:

              “May the force be with you”, KT!
              I always liked that “force” was similar to “God” or “Mom Nature” herself.

        • Nirek says:

          KT, I feel kinda like a hybrid of what you believe and what my Catholic parents believed. I hope that makes sense to you.

  8. kesmarn says:

    I just have to add too, Nirek, that your post was like a breath of fresh air. And it’s nice to have a cozy place here in the Speakers Corner to get away from stressful current events and complex politics, and just enjoy God’s creation!

    Thanks for posting. 😀

  9. kesmarn says:

    Nirek, a good friend just sent me a pic of something she saw on her 12 acres in NY State yesterday:


    • Nirek says:

      Kes, I do not see a picture, but will imagine something of beauty.

      • kesmarn says:


        Okay! One more time!

        • Ah, beautiful kes. The deer are so plentiful around Columbus’s many parks, sometimes you can walk within yards of them and they don’t run away. Parks on the outskirts of the city, of course.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          AH! There he/she is. Thanks for the 2nd try.

        • Nirek says:

          Kes, we see deer all the time. I have a game camera and set it up to get pictures.
          When I got home from Vietnam I went hunting and every shot I heard , I was flat on the ground. Quit hunting and stayed out of the woods during hunting season.

          One day several years ago I was walking out to a telephone pole to do a job. On the way I almost stepped on a fawn. I knew enough to not touch it. A mother deer will abandon a fawn with the smell of a human. So I looked around and sure enough the mother was trying to get my attention. She wanted me to move away from her baby. It still was wet from its birth.

          I felt blessed to witness that fawn.
          Thanks for the photo, Kes. It is beautiful.

          • kesmarn says:

            Thanks so much, Nirek. I’m glad the photo finally came through after a bit of coaching from Kalima.

            Wow…that really was a brand new “baby” you almost stumbled upon there. I’ve read that it’s best to leave fawns alone too. I understand that the moms often will “park” their babies for fairly long periods and then come back toward evening to pick them up again. So — although they may seem to be “abandoned” — mom really does know what she’s doing.

            Most of the men in my family have not been hunters either, Nirek. I have no problem with hunters who eat what they kill, but I was also glad to know that the wildlife on our little country place was safe when I was a kid. (After all, I had seen “Bambi”!)

            Now the best kind of shots are with a camera, no?

            • Nirek says:

              Absolutely, Kes, a camera does no harm.

              Kalima has tried to teach me how to post pictures from my game camera and I am too computer illiterate to understand why I can’t do it.

      • kesmarn says:

        Anyway…I’ll just say that it’s a picture of a sweet little faun nestled into a haystack. I’ll keep working at it! 😀

      • kesmarn says:

        Oh gosh! Sorry, guys! It showed up on my Chromebook. I’ll see if I can fix that.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I would love to see this, but I could not open the link.

  10. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    Hey Nirek….do more stuff like this. Very good.

    You are being featured on one of the Planet’s inside pages.

    I suspect we will see more of that in the future.

    • Kalima says:

      Murph, I explained how this worked on your post to welcome the new members. There is nothing inferior about having a post in Speaker’s Corner. In case you didn’t notice we have more than just the Front Page at The Planet, so I would consider it a favour if you let admin run the site the way we have run it for five years. There is a reason for everything. Thanks.

  11. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    How Great Thou Art

    O mighty God, when I behold the wonder
    Of nature’s beauty, wrought by words of thine,
    And how thou leadest all from realms up yonder,
    Sustaining earthly life with love benign,

    With rapture filled, my soul thy name would laud,
    O mighty God! O mighty God!

    When I behold the heavens in their vastness,
    Where golden ships in azure issue forth,
    Where sun and moon keep watch upon the fastness
    Of changing seasons and of time on earth.

    With rapture filled, my soul thy name would laud,
    O mighty God! O mighty God!

    When crushed by guilt of sin before thee kneeling,
    I plead for mercy and for grace and peace,
    I feel thy balm and, all my bruises healing,
    My soul is filled, my heart is set at ease.

    With rapture filled, my soul thy name would laud,
    O mighty God! O mighty God!

    And when at last the mists of time have vanished
    And I in truth my faith confirmed shall see,
    Upon the shores where earthly ills are banished
    I’ll enter Lord, to dwell in peace with thee.

    With rapture filled, my soul thy name would laud,
    O mighty God! O mighty God!

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