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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Moving and Changing

We have spent the last month moving. In many ways it was much more exhausting moving two miles than it was moving from DC to FL last year. It has been a pretty constant process of packing boxes and transporting them by car to the new place over several weeks time.  And since we moved from a third floor walk-up to a ground, single level house this meant hundreds of trips up and down two flights of stairs. Then came the big day when movers loaded up the large items and transported them. We are now "in the door" among boxes and resettling.  Whew!

This process has me wondering about changes in our lives and how we sometimes adapt to sudden change more easily than incremental change. Sure, the old axioms are true that every journey consists of many steps and you fill a bucket drop by drop, but much can also be said for taking a big leap, and diving in.  Sometimes we drive and enjoy the scenery and other times we hop a plane to our destination.

Life for the most part comes to us day by day, moment by moment. By living each moment and each day we find ourselves in different places along life's journey. However there are times when life throws us to the ground or lifts us to the sky and in a blink the world has changed.

Either way life is a process of moving and changing. However change comes, ours is to embrace the steps and leaps we are privileged to take.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Circle of Thanks

Today is the day before Thanksgiving Day and the day after our 41st wedding anniversary. I have so much for which to be thankful, yet my circle of thanks seems so small this year.

Our family has gathered for the holiday in a mountain house near Asheville, NC where the view from the porch would normally be a beautiful fall mountain vista, yet the sky is filled with smoke from nearby raging forest fires. Much is happening in the world that stretches my capacity to accept even the title and premise of my own blog. Where is One Eternal Presence, and my thanks and gratitude, when some things seems to be unraveling?

Within the unraveling the people closest and most dear to me are gathered in One place. For today and the next few their Presence will be my solace and my hope. In them I see the Eternal beyond the hazy present. In them and for them I feel gratitude and love. They are the morning sun rising beyond the mountain piercing and painting the smoky sky with thanks, with gratitude, with hope, with love. The One Eternal Presence fills even small circles of thanks.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Being and Doing

Do what can be done
let go of what can't.
Don't be afraid of fear.
Held too tightly it turns to hate.
Sit with it, hold it gently.

Take a deep breath, or two, or three.
Feel the cool of morning, 
the warmth of noonday sun. 
Gaze into the wonder of a night sky.
Smell a fragrant flower in bloom
or the pungent waft of decaying leaves.
Breathe again, and again, and again.

The One Eternal Presence is just that -

Now, do what can and must be done -

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Morning After

I am feeling so much more than can be said today. My heart aches. My mind drifts into despair. My emotions are frayed. I grasp to make meaning of what appears as an endorsement of fear and hatred. So I fall back on words from my sermon delivered this past Sunday in hope that I can hear them anew.

Irish poet Michael Longley is known for his prophetic voice during the height of conflict between Catholics and Protestants, the IRA and the British and all factions within Northern Ireland. One of his poems is called “All Of These People” 

Who was it who suggested that the opposite of war
Is not so much peace as civilization? He knew Our assassinated Catholic greengrocer who died At Christmas in the arms of our Methodist minister,And our ice-cream man whose continuing requiem Is the twenty-one flavors children have by heart. Our cobbler mends shoes for everybody; our butcher Blends into his best sausages leeks, garlic, honey;Our corner shop sells everything from bread to kindling. Who can bring peace to people who are not civilized? All of these people, alive or dead, are civilized.

Civilization is not a place void of conflict where everyone agrees all the time. It is however a place of shared human dignity where diversity is held together by hope, respect, compassion, mercy, justice, kindness, forgiveness, and love for all people. I have to believe this or else I succumb to darkness myself. I have to believe this or else my righteous anger devolves into hate.   

Love is the life we are called into. Love is the life we strive to live every day. May we have the grace and courage to do so.