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Songs and trees and mud

meltzerwoods-centralinlandtrustOver a year ago, I answered an invitation from a parishioner at my church to join a fledgling choir that would focus on Latin and classic hymns. How could I say no? Our group evolved into a Wednesday evening sung Vespers, which is taking off nicely, but we also now have a slot in the regular music ministry rotation. We had several new members join us in the past couple of weeks, and this morning we sang at the 10:30 Mass. I was chosen to be the cantor, which is the person who does the “solo” parts where the congregation responds, and I was a bit nervous, even though we sing from the choir loft. After Mass, one of the parishioners walked all the way up to the choir loft and told me that my voice was so soothing, and we all did a great job. The thought that my voice has the capacity to make people happy, or to soothe them? Unspeakably awesome. I am grateful that God has blessed me with a voice that can soothe others.

After Mass I loaded the dogs up in the van and took them out to Meltzer Woods, the old-growth nature preserve in northern Shelby County. There are a couple of hiking loops that total over a mile, and the dogs were sniffing and snuffling and having a great time with their muddy paws and engaged senses. Once we got on the trail I looked down and noticed I was still wearing my good Cole Hahn black dress shoes, which now looked like Grizzly Adams’ boots. I’ve been out hiking and walking so much, just about all of my footwear are muddy, but it’s okay. They’ll clean up. Not by themselves, but I’ll get around to it. But today, I’m grateful for muddy shoes and happy dogs.

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