Gifts and Graces

Article & photo by Kent Taylor

Sometime during the night, the snow began to fall and, by morning, it showed no signs of letting up. Looking out across the yard through groggy eyes, I remember feeling the same swirl of excitement I felt as a little kid growing up in southern Illinois. Snow day! Time to find the boots, the gloves, the sock hat; time to get out there and look around; time to play.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Surprisingly to me, the cedar waxwings had also arrived in droves that morning along with the snow. To say they came to eat the berries that remained on the red tip photinias would be an understatement. They were voracious consumers.

I had never noticed a cedar waxwing in our neighborhood before, nor since. They were, to me, one of the coolest looking birds I had ever seen with their gorgeous markings and their hey-check-out-my-sunglasses kind of vibe. For the next hour, I photographed the birds, mesmerized by the pageantry of it all, grateful for the surprise, this little grace.

As a new year begins, it will undoubtedly hold twists and turns that we’ve never imagined, experiences and encounters that have never been, thresholds through which we will go. Wherever this year takes you, blessings to you on your journey. May a myriad of gifts and graces guide your way.

Looking ahead, as we plan for the future of this great organization, I look forward–as your new president–to working with the board, with Don and Barb, and with all of you to develop this creative community dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. I hope to see you at Bryce Canyon in June. We’ll have a good time.

Note: Kent Taylor lives with his wife Laura in Richardson, Texas. They have two children: Kelsey (27) who is married to Matt and works as a speech pathologist in Dallas; and Kyle (18) who is a freshman at Hill College and a pitcher on their baseball team. They have two 8lb guard….errr…..lap dogs named Frank and Ben (Cheweenies.) Laura is a high school choir teacher and Kent has been a hospital chaplain for the last 25 years. Kent’s entry into RMOWP came through his participation in the photo workshop in Estes Park in 2007.