Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday


My favorite Caribbean beach, on St. Barts, a few years back. Almost as solitary as my home here in the snow. A nice memory on this cold November in-between day when so many people are out "getting and spending."
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank God


On this Thanksgiving I am first of all grateful that I have Someone to thank. On TV I see people trying to give thanks but unable or unwilling to mention Divine Love who is the source of all that we are and have and do.
I thank our Father for Jesus and for the Church without which I would not know Jesus.
I thank God for Barack Obama and for the turn our country has taken.
I thank the Holy One for family and friends who make me happy and keep me grounded.
I thank the Eternal One for the forty years that we have owned this Lake house and for all the people who have been happy here through the years and for the solitude that it now provides me.
I thank the Holy Spirit for movies and music and art and for the exciting things I am learning about the Old Testament.
I thank our Creator for sunshine and snow and woods and flowers and the Lake and streams and mountains and these hills where I be-long.
Finally I thank my Friend for living in me and loving me and making me more aware and more loving and for the gifts of peace and joy that flow from Gracious Love.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November Snow


This is the view of my driveway that greeted me as I opened the door to go for my morning walk. It was snowing when I got back from a trip yesterday at 2:30 PM and was still snowing when I went to bed at 11:30 PM. There was a very fine snow falling as I walked. I hear we got about ten inches. School was cancelled.
I really love the snow, walking in it and looking at it. It brings a kind of silence and peace that is unique and calls me to stillness and prayer.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Open my eyes, Lord.


As I began my morning walk I was walking towards the sun. We had had rain but no wind. Droplets of water were clinging to tree limbs and were sparkling in the sunshine. The barren branches were transformed into glistening silver. I kept stopping and taking pictures.
On my way home with the sun behind me, the forest magic was gone. Disappointed, I turned around to look at the woods again and all was glistening silver once more. Only with the sun shining through them were the droplets visible. I began to walk backwards so I could be facing the sun and the magic it worked.
I thought of the Light of the World living in me and transforming me. I thought of that same Light transforming everyone in the world and of my inability to notice the Divine shining out of so many of them. It is prayer and contemplation that turns me around to face the Light and see God glistening in everyone and everything.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Old Testament


I have been studying the Old Testament lately, those books of the Bible that are sacred to Jews as well as Christians. To understand these Scriptures as well as I can, I have been using a Jewish Study Bible.
The most impressive insight so far is that roughly the first two-thirds of the Bible was gathered together, edited, and organized around the time of the Babylonian Exile (586 BC)to help the people deal with the exile. By the way they organized the material, the "editors" tried to show that throughout Israelite history there was a pattern of dislocation and restoration, exile and return, God's judgment and God's forgiveness. God gifts the people, they disobey, they lose God's gift, God forgives them and restores them, not because of anything they have done, but because of Who God Is.
We can see this pattern in our own lives. God gives us everything good. We disobey and turn away. We lose God's gift. God forgives us and gifts us again, not because of who we are but because of Who God Is. Being able to see all these books as a whole with the one message of God's grace and freely given mercy has enriched my relationship with God immensely.
(I took this picture a few years ago in Canyon De Chelly, New Mexico. Since I have never been to the Holy Land I was trying to find something desert-like.)
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Fallow Way


I'm just back from Delaware where many trees still have autumn leaves, stark constrast to here in the mountains, where trees are bare and weeds are brown and frost is taking over. As I walked this morning I was remembering Judy Collins' song, "The Fallow Way." Here are just a few stanzas:
I'll learn to love the fallow way
When winter draws the valley down
And stills the rivers in the storm
And freezes all the little brooks....

I'll learn to love the fallow way
And gather in the patient fruits
And after autumn's blaze and burn
I'll know the feel of still, deep roots....

The crystal times, the silence times
I'll learn to love their quiet breath
While deep beneath the glistening snow
The black earth dreams of violets
I'll learn to love the fallow time....

A field is left fallow when it is left unplanted, an opportunity for the soil to replenish itself. We can learn to love the fallow time when cold pulls us inside and winter draws us down into ourselves, deeper into the Divine.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Beginning


I let myself get too busy during October. Not even half a hermit. Saying yes to too many committments without realizing that some of them would all come together at one time. November 1 was the beginning of the new year for the Celts, so I want to start new, giving some good time to prayer and reflection. "Life is a series of new beginnings," we were told over and over again in our college days.
November is usually my least favorite month here in these mountains. Trees get bare. Snow hasn't arrived yet to stay and make the world peaceful and beautiful. There are often gray days. Maybe the less attractive outside will help me to turn more inward.
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