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Ramble with(out) Storm: Practical theology on the Kankakee River

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab; well, without the beloved meathead.

Listening by the shoreline as the morning light drifted in by slow degrees, I watched dawn come along the Kankakee River this morning.

Cold enough that fog lifted in wisps off the river, then drifted with the current.

Quiet enough, though with the inevitable background hum or waves of distant traffic, even at 6 a.m., that I could first hear small splashes. They sounded more like a muskrat sliding into the water, than a carp crashing or a smallmouth bass feeding. But I couldn't see well enough in the early half light to figure which it was.

Then nearer, smaller, splashes, as fish fry in the shallows fed on something small or microscopic by my feet at the Aroma Park boat launch.

Overnight, our church youth group held a box city sleep out. The idea was to raise their consciousness of and empathy/understanding for the homeless by sleeping outside in big cardboard boxes in the fall.

Well, some of the kids made it. But I noticed when I got up, even before my usual 5 a.m. wake-up, that some of the kids had come inside to sleep in the warmth of the pews. Maybe there is a practical theology lesson to be learned there.

Can't say I blame the kids. I was freezing my ass off as the temperatures touched the 40s and the dew was thick enough to soak my top sleeping bag.

It was very quiet at first by the river. Finally, I heard but couldn't see a wood duck buzz past. Then Canada geese lifted off on the other side of the island with their usual ruckus.

I had thought there might be some goose hunters at the launch, putting in for the final day of early goose season. But there wasn't single boat trailer in the launch.

Some day I want to see an otter on the Kankakee. That hasn't happened yet. And it didn't happen this morning.

I said a prayer of thanks and turned to walk back to the sleeping, freezing group.

Somebody had pounded one of those bright ``Stop Aquatics Hitchhikers'' signs. It jolted my reverie some. I wish whoever puts the signs in, necessary as they are, did it with some sense of the natural ambiance of a setting. Where this one is set is like shining a flashlight in a sleeper's face.

A big dumpster is in place for the 30th annual Kankakee Iroquois River Clean Up by the Northern Illinois Anglers Association. This is the clean-up that set the standard.

Picnic tables are set up for the NIAA, which will feed those who help with the cleanup.

Our youth group has helped with the cleanup for quite a few years now.

I think it is a perfect lesson in practical theology. It is amazing what messes we as humans leave on God's earth, on our earth.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 15, 2012 6:42 AM.

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