From the Archives of Clergy Clatter

May 2005

The other night I was channel-hopping on television. I came across a nature program which was showing grizzly bears catching salmon as they migrated upstream to spawn. The commentator noted that the bears have a very short “window of opportunity” to catch the salmon. If they fail to take full advantage of that brief opportunity, they will not be able to put on enough bulk to survive the winter. Likewise, the salmon have a very tight “window of opportunity” to make it upstream to spawn. If they don’t take full advantage of that brief time, there will not be another generation of salmon to maintain the species. And the amazing thing is that the “window of opportunity” for the salmon and grizzly come together at just the right time to assure the survival of both.

As I listened to this program, I marveled at how finely tuned the natural order is. Somehow, everything has its special time and season, and it is important that each element come together with the other for everything to work right.

It also occurred to me that we are very much a part of that order. As modem human beings we’ve learned to manipulate many of the elements of nature. We can heat and cool our environments so that the seasons don’t drastically affect us. We’ve learned to grow almost anything at any time of the year. In many ways, we’ve almost removed ourselves from being dependent on the natural order.

Yet, we still have our brief “window of opportunity.” As we watch our kids quickly grow up, watch our elderly slow down, watch the seasons come and go more and more rapidly, we can’t help but be conscious of our own “window of opportunity.”

We are in the midst of a beautiful spring. Trees are coming into leaf, the azaleas are bursting open, and birds are singing almost everywhere. I want to be a part of that new energy. I don’t want to waste a moment of my “window of opportunity” to connect with the beauty and renewal which spring brings. 



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A compilation of The Rev. Richard O. Bridgford’s most memorable articles from his nearly 25 years at Church of the Epiphany. Enjoy history, humor, nature, travel, and wacky experiences with Fr. Bridgford, his two-legged and four-legged friends! Recall:

  • the New Year’s resolutions he couldn’t keep
  • the year Santa’s elf delivered Baby Jesus to the creche
  • the volcano that threatened his vacation
  • sweet elderly widows and “a little afternoon sherry”

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