A retired pastor and longtime Loveland resident have turned her love of the outdoors and all its creatures into a book, sharing her thoughts on the world through the printed page.
According to the book’s publisher, Barb Linder recently wrote and published «Encounters with Animals,» an 82-page collection of essays in which the former pastor describes «surprising and inspiring» encounters she has had with nine different animals — dogs, snakes, squirrels, spiders, bears, eagles, songbirds, elk, and monarch butterflies.
Along with her own personal accounts, Linder also includes information on animal symbolism in various cultures, lessons that can be learned from them, self-reflection prompts, relevant scriptures, and «encouragement to spend more time outside, sit in silence, and become aware of the animals that help us, in their own way, to grow personally and spiritually.»
Linder served as a pastor for 25 years, the majority of which were spent in Minnesota. She claimed that she has always enjoyed the outdoors and has traveled all over the nation and the globe.
According to Linder, «I’ve always loved being outside and around animals since I was a tiny kid.»
But in 2005, after a trip she had with a friend a number of years earlier, she retired to a home in the heart of Loveland.
She claimed that just with her choice to settle in Colorado, the inspiration for her work came from one of her friends. Her buddy advised her to start writing the stories down after hearing about some of her animal encounters over the years, and they were eventually published in June by LifeRich Publishing.
One such story was inspired by a hike she took on the Cub Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. She claimed she went for a hike before the winter months made it too cold to go out on the trails, and on her way back to her car, she came across a herd of about 12 elk.
«I couldn’t turn around because I was in the middle of the herd,» she explained, adding that she simply walked alongside the animals until they decided to go their separate ways. She claimed that none of the elk were aggressive, and she safely returned to her car, where she reflected on the experience with awe.
According to Linder, she hopes that people will read her book and take away from it the value of being outside and connecting with nature as well as her love of animals and the natural world.
She stated, «You have to use your common sense, but I learned at a very young age that if you don’t display fear or aggressiveness, you may have amazing encounters with animals. «I’m convinced that God wants us to have those kinds of experiences,» the speaker said.