“When once your foot enters the church, be bare. God is more there, than thou: for thou art there Only by his permission. Then beware, And make thyself all reverence and fear. Kneeling ne’er spoil’d silk stocking: quit thy state All equal are within the church’s gate.” ― George Herbert, From the Temple
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The world is filled with cathedrals and altars.
Nature, heart, space and place, in others, in an embrace.
We need merely take notice, enter, drop to our knees.
May you see all of the places to run, to remain, to kneel today.
And do so.
Reverence. Awe. Wonder.
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
“The practice of paying attention really does take time. Most of us move so quickly that our surroundings become no more than the blurred scenery we fly past on our way to somewhere else.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“Reverence requires a certain pace. It requires a willingness to take detours, even side trips, which are not part of the original plan.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
Put the weight down.
No need to carry it every minute.
Remember laughter, laugh.
Remember fun, play.
Remember delight, enter.
Remember spring, bloom.
Remember hope, let it carry you.
Remember gratitude, the full view.
Remember joy, invoke it.
Cross thresholds, aware of footholds, break loose.
Pause here a bit, life will surely pull you back in.
Remain longer, lighter, changed, transformed.
Reverence, attention, wisdom.
“Wisdom atrophies if it is not walked on a regular basis.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.” – Irish Blessing
“May good luck be with you Wherever you go, and your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow. May your days be many and your troubles be few, May all God’s blessings descend upon you, May peace be within you, May your heart be strong, May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.” – Irish Blessing
See this day while you are in it.
Awake in presence.
Relived in memory.
Use your words and silence well.
Life goes slow, then fast.
Drags and then flips on its head.
Beauty, love, joy woven through.
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.” – Irish Blessing
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”― Washington Irving
“This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson
My Mom joined Dad in heaven this week.
We walk her home for ourselves next week.
86 years old.
Tough and soft, tender steel.
From farm roots.
East side of Saint Paul, those who lived there know what that means.
Neighbors, friends, loyalty, family, community, laughter, hard work, hard play.
Love completed her life and remains for us to complete our own journey.
Grief and gratitude.
Joy and laughter.
Memories across a lifetime, not just a snapshot in time.
A good story.
May each of us complete our own story with comfort, smiles, rainbows, laughter, sunsets, hugs, beauty, friendships, faith, confidence, courage, patience and overflowing love. And the gift of God’s peace that passes all understanding.
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”― Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times
“If a branch is too rigid, it will break. Resist, and you will perish. Know how to yield, and you will survive.”― Liezi, Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living
“Awareness is not a state you force. There is little effort involved, though persistence is key. It’s something you actively allow to happen. It is a presence with, and acceptance of, what is happening in the eternal now.”― Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being
Day begins with heavy snow.
Shoveling wet cement.
Cloudy skies as winter lingers.
Days end, the clouds part for a moment.
Sun beams through.
Blue sky shows off like she always does.
In the autopilot, the daily “to dos,” transactions and tasks, pause, yield, stop, look up.
Blue sky breaking.
Take it in.
Sponge in water.
Beauty woven in the ordinary.
Wonder in the unknowing.
“The magic is not in the analyzing or the understanding. The magic lives in the wonder of what we do not know.”― Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”― Huang Po, The Zen Teaching of Huang Po: On the Transmission of Mind
“The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?”― Confucius
May you see the door rather than a wall.
And pass through.
Spring hiding in winter.
The mountains from the bottom and top.
Captured by beauty.
Held in color.
Commas rather than periods.
A softening ground beneath your feet.
The sun hanging out with the clouds and blue.
Expanding rather than contracting.
Inviting, allowing, crossing thresholds to wide open spaces.
Bridges to joy, wonder and delight.
Motionless as wood or stone to see what is present.
“Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.”― Lilly Pulitzer
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain
“No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
A slight shift.
A new angle.
To get your imagination out of atrophy, revived and pumping.
To see the same in a different way.
Merging of the sacred and secular.
Finding the red X beneath our feet.
Standing in awe, wonder and gratitude.
May you experience even an ounce of this today.
And be changed.
“What is saving my life now is the conviction that there is no spiritual treasure to be found apart from the bodily experiences of human life on earth. My life depends on engaging the most ordinary physical activities with the most exquisite attention I can give them. My life depends on ignoring all touted distinctions between the secular and the sacred, the physical and the spiritual, the body and the soul. What is saving my life now is becoming more fully human, trusting that there is no way to God apart from real life in the real world.”— Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith
“Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”― John Muir, The Wilderness World of John Muir
“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Suddenly, a red burst landed on the barren branch.
Blue sky backdrop pops too.
In the lull of winter, a kiss of spring.
An embrace of color.
A dance of delight.
Signs, wonders, awe abound in each day.
Awaiting the sharpening of our senses.
The awakening of our hope.
Not quite here yet, but spring is preparing and planning its arrival.
An invitation to joy.
“Come with me into the woods where spring is
advancing, as it does, no matter what,
not being singular or particular, but one
of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.”― Mary Oliver, Dog Songs: Poems
“And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”― Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge
“A LISTENING: Going through Lent is a listening. When we listen to the word, we hear where we are so blatantly unliving. If we listen to the word, and hallow it into our lives, we hear how we can so abundantly live again.” – Ann Weems, Kneeling in Jerusalem
Listening and hearing.
Watching and seeing.
Witnessing and awe.
A journey rather than race.
Being over doing.
Sabbath. Lent. Dailyness. Sacred.
Baffled to employment of the mind.
To wonder, wander, seek, ponder.
An essay not a math problem to be solved.
A question to be lived, often unanswered, the seeking continues.
Abundantly living each day, again and again.
One inch at a time.
What will this day reveal to you?
“It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.”― Wendell Berry
“Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.” – Wendell Berry
“Definitions belong to the definer, not the defined.” – Toni Morrison
May I define less and be open to spaciousness, wide margins, grace.
Offering kindness without reserve or measure.
To not reduce others, the world, our view to fit on the size of a bumper sticker or yard sign.
May love be the first and last answer, the go-to, a natural reflex and response.
Nuance, complexity, hues, depth, unknowing, mystery, breadth.
May these be the brushes to paint, shape, define and contain, rather than rules and regulations.
To not other, minimize, box, assume, judge, bucket, confine.
Frameworks rather than quick answers to dismiss and distill.
Hope, empathy, compassion, laughter, peace, joy, redemption and resurrection.
Each and every day.
Wide margins, big sky and open fields to make tracks on in all directions.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.” – Wendell Berry