On my last trip to the beach/National Wildlife Refuge/State Park, I was accompanied by clergy colleague with whom I have a budding friendship. She's taken up birdwatching and noticed via Facebook and here at The Large Party that I take a lot of photos of birds. So on our day off (hooray for days off that are sunny and beautiful) we went together on a ten-mile hike through the refuge/park and beach.
We saw a number of these little birds in at least two different areas of the refuge, and only after getting home and blowing up the photos and consulting numerous bird books in our separate bird book collections did we determine that they are yellow-rumped warblers. I didn't know that such a bird existed. Turns out there are a lot of types of warblers out there. But the yellow rump (you can see it peeking through the wings of the bird pictured here) turns out to only appear on one variety: the thus-aptly-named yellow-rumped warbler.
It was fun to share the place I love so much with someone who appreciated it as much as I do. It was fun to watch these little birds playing in the trees. It was fun watching a cormorant doing its thing. I was happy to see another loon in the ocean. The sanderlings did not fail to delight.
And Mother Nature cooperated beautifully. The weather was fabulous and we walked back along the beach during the golden hour before sunset that starts out golden and ends up pink and blue at the beach and flame orange over the bay. There is no better place to be than on a beach during the golden hour.
A delicious dinner at a local dive that overlooks the bay (so we got to see the rest of the sunset) was the icing on the cake.
Most of us need time with friends as well as time alone. And sometimes we clergy go overboard on the time alone because we are working too hard or spending a lot of time/energy with pastoral care. Being alone helps us recharge. But for an extrovert like me, being with friends is the way I recharge best. I play off the environment of give-and-take, both of conversation and companionable silence. And yet I've noticed that I am tending to spend more time alone than I ever used to. More than once in the last few months, a mentor or friend has wondered if I am spending enough time with friends. It is a delicate balance, no doubt.
And so after spending a whole day with a friend, I am remembering what Bette Midler sang: You've gotta have friends!