Lessons from a Wandering Friend–WNIJ

By June 7, 2017 Farm, Spirituality, WNIJ


“Cat sighting!” I called out to Bruce when I saw the black cat stalking through our field.

As the weather cooled he worked his way up to our barn. We felt rich with this free cat coming closer, catching mice. He’d meow. He’d hiss. He’d meow.

We kept our distance because you can’t force yourself on a cat. But he worked his way toward our hands. Every time I drew water, he hopped up on hay bales we used to insulate our house to let me pet him.

Onyx. I named him Onyx. He’d turn back when I called, but if he snuck out at midnight, he’d dance away. Onyx settled onto our bed, crawled under the covers, climbed into our laps. He moved the dogs by a look, but chickens scared him.

Richard Rohr says we can study the world to learn about God and compassion. “Becoming intimate with God’s presence in one aspect of creation — be it a pet, birdsong, garden, or favorite wild space — can move us toward loving our forgotten brothers and sisters, human or otherwise, through compassionate actions.”

I learned how to be patient with mystery because Onyx came with many questions. I found God’s presence in Onyx — in that warmth settling over my lap and in that insistent love that sought me out. We did not have much time with Onyx. I learned how to be grateful for the days we spent with him.

I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective. If you’d like to hear me read this, click here.



  • “Not one picture is as I believed them all to be, not one unclouded, not one anything other than exactly, precisely what this novel is: a story of the interplay of darkness and light in every situation, in all our certainties, in all our deepest selves. Not one what it seems at first glance.”

    And so these photographs of the handsome Onyx, all but one of them proof of that interplay of light and shadow that is potential in the human soul–and has been captured time and time again by your camera. All but one, and that one perhaps my favorite. The uninterrupted blackness of Onyx stretches into the glass of what I don’t doubt is one of “his” many windows, stretches–I would almost lay odds on it–toward a bird teasing him from a tree branch outside that safe harbor where he came to anchor.

    • katiewilda says:

      Oh yes he was stretching toward a bird. Robins nest in the corner of that window. What a lovely comment that I didn’t see till just now (ugh).Where does that quote come from about the novel that is about the interplay of darkness and light? Laura Munson wrote her author statement saying something similar and beautiful: “I write to shine a light on a dim or otherwise pitch black corner to provide relief for myself and others.”

      I am fascinated by the interplay of light and shadow. A friend taught me how to see them in my house and they seem to whisper something about glory or at least angels…