by Linda Tiessen-Wiebe
WE'RE ENJOYING CAMPING in the oTentnik at Clear Lake this week. The camping is “Bare” camping which means to keep any food and toiletries (anything that might remotely smell like food) out of the tent and store in your car. At first I was mildly irritated because of having to unpack and rearrange some stuff. When I actually read the pamphlet they gave I saw where it said “Human food kills wildlife.” Somehow that turned my irritation to respect. The pamphlet continued to talk about how many animals depend on this habitat for survival and that we are actually in their living space. Made me think that we are their guests in their living room. The thing with food and bears in particular is that once they are habituated to scrounging for human food they have to be destroyed.
This reminded me of what I read in the book Ecotheology which encourages Christians to see Creation as co-image-bearers of God, along with us humans. It encourages a creation-centric view where humans are a part, but not the centre. I pivoted and almost gladly sorted my toiletries and my food, to honour my hosts. During the night as I was falling asleep, the wind in the pine trees whispered, and I found myself imagining them as watching over us like that Psalm 91 song we sang. Getting up to pee I heard what may have been wolves howling at the almost full moon. In the morning while reading suddenly we heard this thumping on the tent and I noticed pine cones falling just on it. I looked up to the tall pine trees and saw a squirrel at the top “harvesting” the pine cones and then scurrying down. To eat or to store, who knows. A lot happening in this living room.
And then on our hike today I came across this little guy, in the attached picture. The real frog that Frog (my knitted one) might be dreaming of. Velveteen Frog. All seems to be of a piece with accepting the invitation from anthropocentric to creation-centric. At least for a moment of clarity. May there be more of these.