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September walks

Somewhere on the road.

September Meditation
by Burton D. Carley

I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
nights by which we count time remember their own passing.

I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.

I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall’s gathering or if the
bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.

I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers
the moon.

I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.

Perhaps that is the reason for our births—to be the memory for
creation.

Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.

Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
“What can you tell me about September?”

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A Monday meander: Thinking ahead

Net fishing in the creek. (Trough Creek State Park, Pennsylvania)

The innocent mistake that keeps us caught in our own particular style of ignorance, unkindness, and shut-downness is that we are never encouraged to see clearly what is, with gentleness. Instead, there’s a kind of basic misunderstanding that we should try to be better than we already are, that we should try to improve ourselves, that we should try to get away from painful things, and that if we could just learn how to get away from the painful things, then we would be happy. That is the innocent, naïve misunderstanding that we all share, which keeps us unhappy.

~ Pema Chödron

Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.

~ Henri Nouwen

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A Monday meander: Summer vacation edition

Along the way, a field of sunflowers. We stopped to take a look (and a couple of photos).

It’s not enough to love something–or someone. Of course you love a person or art or music or the theatre. But you have to imagine that this person or this thing is trapped in a house afire, and the fire is apathy, and the fire is ignorance, and you have to go into the house all the time, day after day, year after year, and put out the flames and save the thing you love and rebuild the house in which it lives, and show it to others who will come to the rescue when you no longer can. Love is cheap and silly–a moron can love ice cream–but devotion is something worth talking about.

–Eva Le Gallienne

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Eat the rules

A recent sunset.

Awareness of the divine begins with wonder.
— Abraham Heschel

I think that every discovery of the world plunges us into jubilation, a radical amazement that tears apart the veil of triviality.
— Dorothee Soelle

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Enough

We need more than thoughts and prayers.

This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

~ Walt Whitman

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Writing

Ali (the deer who spent time in our garden last summer when her mother would leave her for the day). It’s easy to tell it’s her because she is smaller than usual.

The planet will never come alive for you unless your songs and stories give life to all the beings, seen and unseen, that inhabit a living Earth.

– Amitav Ghosh

As our world appears to spin more and more out of balance, what are the stories that speak to this darkening time? What stories are destroying us, and what stories are sustaining us, helping us to find a path that can return us to a point of balance, a place of belonging?

~ Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee, Emergence Magazine

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A few thoughts on a chilly and blustery spring day

Not plum but cherry blossoms.

Searching for spring all day, I never saw it,
straw sandals treading everywhere
among the clouds, along the banks.
Coming home, I laughed, catching
the plum blossom’s scent:
spring at each branch tip, already perfect.

~ unknown zen nun from the Song Dynasty (trans. by Sam Hammill and J.P. Seaton, The Poetry of Zen)

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