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Tuesday, June 21, 2011


(Flowers found growing in southern California...)

What is it, and where does it come from, what prompts it? A lovely view like a breath-taking vista or the pristine details of a small flower? Transcendent thought, a vision in the night? Whatever it is, it can not be forced, framed, forged. I am in awe of those whose words convey spiritual insight and stir the soul, those who write what I wish I could have penned. I feel like an amateur, inferior to the writers of great truths and succinct ponderings. And yet, once in a while something comes to me which I could not have sought or bidden. It is a gift- to be contemplated, appreciated, perhaps shared. Thank you, all who are conduits of the stirrings of the Holy Breath, the Divine Source. Those who have eyes to see what many often miss. You bless us all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

If I Were Amish...

One late spring afternoon while I was out in the yard I heard someone singing at the top of his lungs with no accompaniment. The singer kept on key and sang with such gusto, having no obvious care about being overheard.

The distinctive 'clop clop clop' of horse hooves drew my attention to the road and sure enough, thereby passed an Amish buggy. Making a mad dash for a camera, I barely caught this view before the driver was out of sight.

Over the years I have read inspirational novels about the Amish and I must in all honesty admit that the simpler way of life has a certain attraction. To be primarily concerned with clothing and feeding the family, tending the garden, cleaning the house, washing the laundry...

What would life be like without the distractions of too much stuff, too many superfluous activities? Without the constant awareness of pain, destruction, loss and strife all over the planet? Things that upset us, things about which we can do very little except pray.

Yes, sometimes our possessions own us (requiring upkeep, repair, dusting, protection) and the cares of the world bring stress and worry. Would any of us give that up voluntarily?

In my young adulthood I spent two wintry nights in a cabin-room on a small lake in the Adirondack Mountains. The room was furnished with a bed, a two-burner cook top, a small refrigerator, a desk, a chair, a lamp, two books, a small bathroom. I remember reading by lamplight and wishing I could continue such an uncomplicated, uncluttered existence. Two days later it was back to the usual.

Perhaps the best I can manage is to occasionally sort out and donate or dispose of unneeded items, reduce the number of hobbies I intend to pursue someday, and find the place and time to be still, and be grateful for what I do have.

Can anyone relate to this?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Beginnings

Spring will soon give way to summer. Leaves are green, flowers vibrant. I saw an orange Orchard Oriole today along my biking route beside the woods.

How is it that we become so intent on watching our feet that we can not look up and see the glorious possibilities around us? In the late afternoon I sat on a deck swing and listened- to the breeze in the trees, the birds singing, the creek trickling by. The wind caressed my face, the sun warmed my legs as I moved in and out of the shade.

I would wish for everyone a special, quiet place where your heart can smile. Sometimes such a place seems distant, sometimes non-existent. Two years ago while I was in transition in east Tennessee and sat rocking on a log cabin porch on the side of a steep mountain overlooking a "holler," these words came to mind: "He restoreth my soul."

Today I am reminded that there is One who beckons, "Come unto Me... and I will give you rest." What would we ever do without the One who cherishes our very souls?