Neighbors

6 Oct

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They mourn when death takes one of their own.  They nurse the infant, spill their blood to defend and protect.  They are providers of daily food, teachers of basic life skills, partners in play, models for young eyes to see.

They love and are loved.

Blood courses through their veins.  Hearts beat.  Lungs expand and contract.  They sleep, they wake to the prospects of good days and bad days.

They are very much like us.  Remarkably like us.

They share the days in relationships which benefit and bless the whole.  They are the animals that call the earth home, our neighbors, our companions.

When hurricanes howl and horrify, we all suffer.

May the wonder of shared life move us to deep compassion for all creatures great and small.

 

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Pressing On

23 Sep

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On the line of time I have crossed the mid point, moving, with heightened awareness, toward the last mark on the page.   Period?  Exclamation point?  Question mark?

May I travel with grace and humor.  May I find good companionship with those who follow and those who preceded.

May my journey bear witness to life and to its sacred mystery.  May I be enfolded into what was and what will be.

May I know peace as I walk and may all fear dissolve into the eternal warmth of Love.

 

Light And Darkness

26 Aug

“Let your light shine so that all may see.”

“Be a light for the nations.”

“God, you light up my darkness.”

“God is light and in God there is no darkness at all.”

May light come to all who are trapped in darkness.

May light shine in and through me for the benefit of others.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, may I do so with confident trust.

May it be so.

Maybe The Next One

30 Jul

 

Life is made up of two kinds of people.

There are those who grumble that the path is much too steep, the ground is frightfully uneven, those rocks are slippery, the humidity is too high, and, who knows, I might get stung by a bee!

And there are those who feel an invitation to the mystery waiting over the crest of the hill, wonder what demons or delights might be on the other side, then give in to a curious compulsion to find out.   Are they always glad they climbed the hill?  No, of course not.  But once in awhile, often enough to keep wonder alive, I stand on a place where sky meets earth and see jagged mountains as I’ve never seen them before, or a sloping valley filled with bright yellow flowers swaying in a gentle breeze sliding down the ravine, or glimpses of young deer grazing on sweet meadow grass, or the melody of a winding stream that could neither be seen nor heard from below.  And when that happens I know that the climb, slippery rocks and all, was worth it.

I hope I will always experience life as one who is impertinently inquisitive.

I hope I will always have the courage required to risk the finding.

I hope my joy in discovery will never surrender to a casual complacency that destroys the soul of wonder.

I hope I will live to my last day with the good sense to realize that when my anticipation is disappointed at the top of the hill, I can smile and whisper to myself:  “Maybe over the next one.”

 

 

A Lesson About Life

28 Jul

I’ve heard that people sometimes pay hundreds of dollars, maybe more, to learn the art of flower arranging. That is, indeed, an expression of artistic beauty.

I got a lesson for free the other day when I walked along a mountain path in the Santa Catalina mountains.

The decaying log, resting gently on a very large gray boulder, provided a nurturing bed for delicate green shoots nestled together in the log’s jagged brokenness.  The earth has such a wonderful knack for using things returning for the benefit of things emerging.  An animal dies in the forest and provides life for other creatures searching for food.  The decaying log returns to the earth and deposits minerals and life giving resources for other forms about to emerge into the light.  But before she goes, before she is no more in her present form, the log becomes an exquisite vase for little shoots of new life which, in their fulness of time, will continue the sacred cycle.

So, may we walk upon the earth gently knowing that beneath our feet are many gifts bestowed by others.

May we thank the earth for her life receiving and life giving by caring for her wounds and protecting her vulnerabilities.

May we be aware that each of us has come from the care and nourishment of pioneers, pilgrims, and precious loved ones… and that we are privileged to bless the lives of those who walk behind us.

May we always find time to appreciate the earth’s galleries of beauty and wonder as we move along our paths.

May sacred seeing and generous gratitude be our companions.

May it be so.

Country Road

22 Mar

I am never alone when I walk down a country road.

The soft mist of the morning settles around my shoulders like an old friend’s embrace.  Trees sing to creation as only oaks and pines can do, lifting their branches to the sky,  hoping to dance with a passing breeze.  Earth glistens in colors and textures that elude canvas or camera.  I stop to listen to no sound at all, to draw in the sweet fragrance of wet leaves, golden and red carpets spread over thick green grass.   A gentle vibration swirls in the air, as if a hand has plucked the single string of perfection.

I am blessed by all that calls to me along a country road.

Soft Spring Rains

22 Mar

Wash over me, Living Water, like soft spring rains.  Nourish my dryness.  Transform my brittleness.  Make my heart supple, my spirit malleable like moist clay on the Potter’s wheel.

May I return from the dry deserts of my own making, arid days when the dust of my striving fills my mouth and distorts my vision of life around me.

Between the dust from which I came and the dust to which I will return, may I float in the river of love that carries me to your own heart.

This day you are the still water that brings me peace.  This day you are cleansing water that washes my soul.  This day I dance like a child in the showers of your kindness.

I am made new, refreshed once again, by the taste of Living Water.