Script - Wednesday 9th May
I'd been on the lookout for years and years. Watching from my sea kayak on countless shorelines in Ireland and Scotland. I'd seen evidence that there had been otters- chewed crab shells, spraints, holts and footprints but never a single elusive otter.
And then one day we stopped for lunch after a somewhat frightening paddle round the south of the island of Iona in Scotland one of those day when the sea reminds you it has no respect for people.
I was walking back down the hillock more interested in the wind conditions than wildlife when it happened. A dog otter was wandering up the same path! We both stood motionless staring, then with a bounce he was gone.
That said, it was done, my duck was broken, my prayer answered. Perhaps I now had my eye in for seeing otters?
Whatever the explanation , after that encounter on Iona I started to see otters more often and in various places. I’ve seen dozens now over the years.
Rolling rubberised playful in almost perpetual motion on grassy shorelines or effortlessly moving as one with the sea I can understand why the collective noun is a romp.
My house overlooks a bay. Otters live there. I've yet to see them close to home.
Looking without seeing and seeing when you are not really looking seems often to be the essence of otters.
The Book of Hebrews in the New Testament says, “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see”
In my struggle to see you at work I may be missing the point.
Help me to see you in everyday things and to rest in your presence.