My weekend at the Christ in the Wilderness retreat center was a welcome
respite from the routines of daily life.
A wonderful place an hour or so west of Rockford IL.
I try to come here a couple times every year.
There are three hermitages at CITW. The one I stayed in is called
Paul of Tarsus.
This is a place of quiet and reflection.
I sometimes bring a few well chosen books to read and some
Mostly I come for the solitude.
You can see the bird feeder from the window.
The birds tell other animals that there is fresh food at the feeder.
The deer come but are cautious.
This is the world of these deer and I decide to explore the woods
to get to know them better.
It is easy to follow the trails that the deer frequent in winter.
The lack of foliage on the trees allow me to see deeper.
Here you can see where food is scarce, the deer will often eat the bark off of trees.
There is wind today and I stay in the low areas to keep warm.
In the winter, the bones of the land reveal themselves, and show that
this land has endless rolling hills.
I always enjoy myself here and am always sad to leave. The drive going home
is never like the drive getting here.
On this day however, life has another plan for me. The day I was leaving,
something unexpected happened.
I thought I heard a bird that I had not heard before and scanned the trees to see what bird
is making this sound. Lo and behold it was not coming from the trees.
On the ground a few feet away I saw..
a very sweet gray cat with a festering eye that was hungry and alone.
He came to me right away, rubbed his head on my boot and told me that he
would very much like something to eat and in exchange he would be
happy to accompany me on my ride home.
How could I refuse?
This sweet fellow has been to see the vet and is being treated for
ear mites and receiving antibiotics for infection to his injured eye.
He can stay with us as long as he likes, he has not told us his name yet
and soon he will be introduced to my Emma which should be very interesting indeed!