Showing posts from May, 2018

Here, There, and Everywhere

Last year when we had a guest living with us from Australia, she described the spring and summer seasons as a “symphony” because there were different flowers and blossoms playing and popping up all the time—much different than what happens in the Australian climate.
The other morning I read this line from Wislawa Szymborska in a poem:
No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way.

Both of these are reasons why I change my normal routine during the warmer months. One has many options to get from the northeast part of the monastery to the southwest (or vice versa) on the first floor. (Through the chapel, or past the administrative offices, or up the steps and through the “west wing,” or down the steps past the garden room.) For me, though, the only way to travel right now is through our inner courtyard. It provides you about thirty more seconds of sunlight and outdoor time each day, double that if you are returning, too!

When I was walking throu…

Our Deepest Vocation

Henri Nouwen said—
My deepest vocation is to be a witness to the glimpses of God I have been allowed to catch.

I have always loved that quote. Here are some examples of my living out that deepest vocation.

Last weekend I traveled home. They are a bit ahead of us spring-wise. The irises and peonies were already in bloom. The beauty was stunning.

I went home because we celebrated the baptism of my first godchild (my cousin’s newest baby). A pretty obvious example!

While I was at home, I got my first hummingbird window feeder. Not only have I attracted hummingbirds, but orioles, too!

I must admit, my life has been going pretty non-stop this entire Easter season. This weekend is the first weekend that I have had a chance to catch more than just glimpses of God, but also a breath! (Thank you for that gift of the Spirit, Pentecost weekend!) I re-read Mary Margaret Funk’s wonderful book, Into the Depths, which recounts her near-death experience during a catastrophic flood in Bolivia. She, too…

Beautiful Liminality

Why can’t liminality look this good in human life?!

The other day I looked out the window, noticing the forsythia bush had begun to push some green through those wonderful yellow blossoms. I noticed it, too, in the magnolia a few days later. I figured I should go on a walk around the monastery and find some more examples.

Witnessing this in nature reminds me that liminality is quite a beautiful thing, no matter how much tension and discomfort seems to take hold in your life at the moment.

May I continue to let nature be my model, that dear teacher of wisdom, conversion, and life.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

Between Two Trees

The other evening I enjoyed my first “hammock sit” of the year.

I hadn’t started to use a hammock until June last year, once the trees were already in bloom, once the mosquitos were already “out for blood.” So, when I looked up at the trees this time, I was a bit thrown off. And then I noticed them: the minuscule buds on the branches. (Still not visible here)

Nature, it seems, naturally obeys Benedict’s call in the Prologue: Run while you have the light of life. The trees are off and running for another year. I sat, pondering the trees, on my hammock in good company: with Mary Oliver. After a busy couple of weeks, with a few more ahead, this was just the solitude I needed to re-center myself.

Mary offered her wisdom:

The witchery of living
is my whole conversation
with you, my darlings.
All I can tell you is what I know.

Look, and look again.
The world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.

It’s more than bones.
It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse.
It’s more than the b…