Sunsets and Birdsong Dawns…

Clackamas River Sunset

Life has thrown another curve… It does that.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll find after I turn the corner, but for now I’m walking slowly along the path in no real hurry to get around the bend. I have spent this last week or so in my childhood home while working on my Finals for this term — this curve in life forced me to fall way behind in my classwork and I needed some help with the boys so I could get everything caught up and finished before the term ended. Somehow I’ve managed to catch up with everything despite all my current life drama…

While here my “baby” sister and I have had the opportunity to go for evening walks together — the boys have grandparents to help if someone takes a fall — I can be away for an extended period of time without worrying. This means that there has been a period of unexpected Rest in the midst of this chaos. Being with family – it’s easier to get up in the morning, easier to remember to eat, easier to sleep… I’m not spending my nights right now dreading the waking of another day…

Out walking with my sister in the evenings gives me the chance to just breathe, and hiking along the river in all its familiarity, it’s easy to remember who I am. The beauty that shaped me is still here — sunset skies above the river and birdsong filling the dawn. The air here at my childhood home by the river I know so well – it still smells like the late summers of my girlhood — like sun-warmed berries and dry grass, heavy with the weight of the heat and the scent of the river… Summer’s end hangs in the air as the days shorten and we all feel the coming autumn looming despite the present heatwave. I miss the sea – the sound of her breathing tides and her scent in the air – but I am so grateful to be here right now…

Life is hard — I hope you all can find Beauty when you’re travelling your own rocky path… Remember we’re all on this journey together – stay soft with each other…

  • #rememberingme
  • #childhoodforests
  • #viewfromthewaterfall
  • #clackamasriver
  • #sunsetsandbirdsongdawns

Transfiguration Morning…

Blued-eyed sky and Sunlight

There is Peace here.
This morning the sky is blued-eyed — cloudless and bright…  sunlight has clothed the wetland wood across my gravel road and every green hue is alive with  its touch.
It is an August morning — the Feast of the Transfiguration — and my world awoke to this quiet beauty — the breathing of the sea-tides echoing in my chest… the rise and fall of my own rhythm — my heart keeping the beat.

I am sitting in this Quiet.
There are dishes waiting in my sink — remnants of a quick dinner before writing my paper that was due at midnight… they have been patient and will soon be clean again, but they are quiet as they wait.
The boys have had their morning meds with breakfast, the cats are resting from their nocturnal play…
In this moment nothing is clamoring for my attention.

I can feel this new day washing over my corner of the world — what is this magic that keeps us spinning through time — ever forward, ever onward? Is it this Quiet – this Foundation-of-Everything holding us all together? It is holding me here — cradling us all, just waiting to be recognized… to be known.

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”

Inside, we’re all longing to be mystics — longing to know and be known — to sit in the Silence of ourselves surrounded by the bustle and noise of living. We’re all yearning for connection — to have Light clothe us in our innate hues and reveal our beauty to the world. Can’t you see the brightness of summer’s-light in the eyes of those around you? We’re all seeking Communion… Be gentle in your gaze — soft, compassionate eyes are the key to sight here.  Be kind, and See.

“Be still, and know…”

#augustmorning
#feastoftransfiguration
#quiet
#bekindandsee
#bestillandknow

A Gentle Place…

Jasper at work

Jasper is resting up after playing with Sable.

Well, that, and he’s keeping me company in “his” spot by my work desk. In some way, he considers this helping me work. :)

I admit it. His presence does soften the rough edges of my day, and I can’t help smiling when I glance over at him.

In the early hours of this morning, when the world was still quiet and dark, he climbed into my lap as I sat here with my prayers – and quickly fell asleep as his breathing settled into my rosary’s rhythm. 

We rested there – my fingers of one hand in the softness of his fur, those of the other gently passing along the beads – and his little soul totally at peace. 

For that brief moment the world was a gentle place…
a place of prayer,
poetry,
and presence…

It’s all Grace.

#agentleplace
#rhythmofprayer
#morningprayer
#poetryandprayer
#prayerpoetrypresence

Midday Musings

I walked to the beach and back during my lunch break with my hubby today. It smelled like the hikes I took daily as a teenager – water and earth, sunshine, damp bracken and gravel, and then… a different scent – The Sea. She is the only difference from my youth spent much further inland in the woods east of the Willamette Valley, and she is a constant presence now — scent and sound even when out of sight. Sometimes there’s just the low constant hum of the waves rumbling below the surface of conscious notice, and sometimes she roars with wind and intensity — a ferocity bound by the shore even when she seems to be bent on reaching further… The Pacific has an ironic name – she is not a tame companion, even if a constant one.

Today she gave the impression of playfulness amid the sea foam and sunshine. I wanted to stay and play – we were the only ones there in the middle of the day — stealing unseen kisses and pretending the world is as it should be… But of course, it was a lunch break — time was limited and I am not free to ignore reality, or create my own… Today has been another difficult day for so many — Covid is not as tame as people would like to believe… Perhaps Omicron is not as fierce as Delta, but neither is Alpha, and without a vaccine every variant is dangerous and unpredictable as the sea…

This weekend I will have three days off — there is sunshine in the forecast and I hope to spend some time in it. There will be schoolwork and housework… There are books to read, and I have a new sweater to begin knitting (yay!) — the time will fly — but it will be enough to remind me that life is good. The tides are constant and faithful, even if not safe, and Time’s rhythm of life is the same… Change is constant.

Let nothing disturb you;
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God.
God alone suffices.” St. Teresa of Avila (found on her bookmark)

Of Written Words and Worries…

img_20170701_210608740.jpg

One of the most daunting things during my day is looking at a blank page. Sometimes I find it exciting, thinking of all the possibilities that might pour out into the emptiness, but most of the time I just feel a little intimidated. There’s a sense of expectation that I can’t pinpoint — is it a type of anticipation? I think it has to do with that feeling that comes with  a requirement that needs to be met, and even if I have no qualms about meeting it, I’m unsure what will happen in the process…

There a sense of the fear of the unknown in a page’s blank stare…

I write for a lot of reasons. I fill pages with words to make a living, but I also do it to make a life. I write to make sense of my world — to explore how my experiences shape and mold me, and to discover a bit about who I am… and who I am becoming. Through writing I am able to digest all the things that happen during my days — the things that often occur too fast to reflect on in the moment.

There is a lot going on in my life right now. It’s almost impossible not to get caught up in the constant barrage of thoughts — worries, cares, fears… it’s all so chaotic and mostly not even under my conscious control. Thoughts whiz through my head of their own volition, and my internal world ends up racing out of control — I keep catching myself holding my breath without even realizing it… not exactly conducive to peace or health. So I write.

Deep Breath…

“Do not be anxious for anything…” (Philippians 4:6)

There’s a reason we’re supposed to think about “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy…” (Philippians 4:8) Worrisome thoughts do not accomplish anything. I know that. I really do. But letting things go doesn’t come naturally to anyone. We want to “fix” things, we want to be in control and make things turn out the way we think they should… we want to declare what is supposed to happen and make it be. We still want to be God — echoing our own Eden-falls, and losing the peace of paradise because we are so afraid of the weakness of our humanity. In our fear of loss and our desire for control we and up unable to trust and rest in the only relationship that can bring order to the chaos of our lives and calm to our storms… We each still carry our own Eden-echoes… and Thompson’s Hound of Heaven is still sniffing us out on search and rescue for our souls — the original Anam Cara. I may not know the future, but I know the Soul-friend who does… Eden is where He walks…

 

“Do not be anxious…”

This was my lesson from Confession yesterday… the same one I have been studying for years and will continue to learn throughout life… Trust… let it go… Trust… I have no need to fight when life seems to be attacking me from every corner — “Be still and know…” (Psalm 46:10) Just breathe. Open hands, open heart…

And I am grateful…

  1. wise words of comfort…
  2. written words to remember…
  3. words printed in explanation…
  4.  a normal EKG…
  5. choosing joy…
  6. courage to face the day…
  7. heating pads!
  8. words of reassurance in emails…
  9. old poems full of imagery…
  10. words that connect across miles and centuries…

It’s all Grace…