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Indwelling

Winter bonfire.

What has happened to our ability to dwell in unknowing, to live inside a question and coexist with the tensions of uncertainty? Where is our willingness to incubate pain and let it birth something new? What has happened to patient unfolding, to endurance? These things are what form the ground of waiting. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that they’re also the seedbed of creativity and growth—what allows us to do the daring and to break through to newness. . . .

Creativity flourishes not in certainty but in questions. Growth germinates not in tent dwelling but in upheaval. Yet the seduction is always security rather than venturing, instant knowing rather than deliberate waiting. 

~ Sue Monk Kidd

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Posted in Beginnings, Change, Covid-19, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, Home, Hope, In these strange times, Life, Love, Maryland, Mindfulness, Photography

I had forgotten

Rings of sunrise. (A double exposure of tree rings and sunrise clouds.)

When suffering constricts the heart, awe stretches it back out, making us more compassionate, more loving, more present.

~ Valarie Kaur, See No Stranger

…a ‘threshold’ appears first as a boundary and then once approached, you realize that it is only the limit of one layer of understanding while, at the same time, it acts as the doorway to the next, deeper layer.

~ Michael Chambers, English Professor

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Winter’s wonders

Yesterday.

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.

There is nothing I can give you which you have not already, but there is much, very much, which though I cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today.

Take heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this precious little instant.

Take peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and courage in the darkness could we but see; and to see, we have only to look.

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their coverings, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, and wisdom, and power. Welcome it, greet it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence.

Our joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.

Courage, then, to claim it, that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims wending through unknown country our way home.

~ Letter to a friend written by Italian friar and painter
Giovanni da Fiesole, known as Fra Angelico, 1387-1455

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Posted in Covid-19, Dreams, Earth, Fire, Gifts, Heartfulness, Hope, In these strange times, Love, Mindfulness, Photography, Spirit, Winter

Happy holidays

Wishing you the happiest of holidays possible given the circumstances this year.  Find the light in the darkness and allow it to grow.  Or, as the song goes, may your days be merry and bright.

For those that might want a little music with that:  Sunny Christmas.  It’s a cheerful song with wonderful lyrics.  Enjoy.

Posted in Air, Autumn, Change, Covid-19, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Heartfulness, In these strange times, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Wonder, Word/Theme for the Year

Back and forth

Morning song.

We can live any way we want. People take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience – even of silence – by choice. The thing is to stalk your calling in a certain skilled and supple way, to locate the most tender and live spot and plug into that pulse. This is yielding, not fighting.

~ Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

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A Monday meander: What’s happening

On the dock on Jane’s Island.

Once I had imagined that my journey would be like the Pilgrim’s Progress, where each adventure brings the hero closer to the heavenly city, but the Christian God with whom I had been intoxicated in my teenage years did not survive the theological studies I undertook to serve him (and it was a him).  When I turned outward, angry and heartsick, to political affairs, I found that I was a failure as an atheist, too, for I could not cure myself of praying to a God I no longer believed in.

~ Joanna Macy, from the preface to Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

I am the one whose praise echoes on high.
I adorn all the earth.
I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.
I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.
I am led by the spirit to feed the purest streams.
I am the rain coming from the dew
that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.
I am the yearning for good.

~ Hildegard Von Bingen

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A Monday meander: Shifting

Up.

Grace

The Wood is shining this morning.
Red. Gold and green. The leaves
Lie on the ground, or fall,
Or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
The place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
Its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
All that it is, and how flawless
Its grace is. Running or walking, the way
Is the same. Be still. Be still.

~ Wendell Berry

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