Awaken Me


Barnacles image courtesy of Pixabay

Am I one of the ‘unawakened ones’?

Are there barnacles covering my soul,

Like those that encrust the ship hulls at anchor?

Please come awaken me, Divine One

Remove those crusty, bitter bits that cling

Soften any hardness in my heart

So that my soul may sing again

Repair the broken pieces

Heal the cracks and tears

If you will it, it shall be done

This I trust, Divine One

Please, come

Serenity Sunday: Beauty


I won’t be taking you anywhere again this week. There is a lot going on in life at the moment. But, I did want to share a couple of photos of a mother robin who made her nest in my neighbor’s flower box in the spring of 2018. Yes, I know it’s fall (in our part of the world, anyway). I hope this photo will bring a smile to your face and peace to your heart.

A lesson in trust
Seen from my window every day until the hatchings fledged

Wherever you are, I hope you find serenity in this day. Wishing you all an abundance of blessings. Cheers!

Let Compassion Be Our Guide


And when he lays upon that bed

Alone in his suffering,

Then will he see

Will his eyes be opened,

To his frivolity?

When he lays upon that bed

Will visions of superiority comfort him,

He that thought himself above such commonality?

When he lays upon that bed

Will arrogance still hold sway?

Or might his heart be softened,

By experiencing first hand this dread?

Do we lower ourselves to a level

We construe to be unkind?

Or do we beg for mercy

From the One and Holy Divine?

To wish not hot coals be delivered on his head

But a change of mind and purpose

For the one who has misled so many

So, come now, please Divine One

Let your compassion be our guide

And let not his sins be the occasion

For us to judge and to deride

Take from our minds the temptation,

The urge to dance ‘I told you so’

Let us seek sober thought and reason

Let us not be set adrift on the ocean of unforgiveness

Let your compassion be our guide

Re-blogging Mental Health @ Home


From time to time I come across something I feel moved to share. The blog, Mental Health @ Home recently posted about how the mentally ill are treated around the world. The post is quite surprising, disturbing, as well as informative. I believe we are all connected; what affects one affects us all. I am sharing in the hopes of creating further awareness and, hopefully, political will to enact change. Although Canada has come a long ways there is still a ways to go in de-stigmatizing mental illness. so, while we no institutionalize the mentally ill, we do continue to wrap them in the invisible chains of intolerance and indifference. To learn more please click on this link: https://mentalhealthathome.org/2020/09/29/mentally-ill-in-chains/

Heavy Days: Remembering 9/11


It was a beautiful day, that day nineteen years ago. I lived in Stephenville, NL at the time. My car had some minor issue that needed attention and I had taken it down to my father-in-law to be repaired. I remember chatting with my mother-in-law and had gone into the living room to fetch something for her. The television was on and I was shocked at what I seen. (I think everyone remembers that horrific film footage of the planes crashing into the twin towers. It is an image that is forever seared into my memories). I remember calling out to her and we both stood and watched the news, deep in shock at what we were witnessing. Like many days that go down in history 9/11 will be remembered forever. People from around the globe worked at one or the other of the twin towers. After Pop had finished working on my care I went home and remained glued to the television for weeks as the horrors of the day was reported: the horrific stories out of NYC and also Pennsylvania.

I also remember the planes that had to land at our small, but international, airport. Newfoundland received planes from many places, all of them redirected from original flight plans that had been scheduled to land at American airports. It was a time of great stress and anxiety, especially initially as nobody knew where the pilots were from or why they had committed such atrocious deeds.

Stephenville, Gander, St. John’s. Goose Bay, among others had been home to many Americans during the Second World War when air force bases were built in these communities. Needless to say, many links were created during those times. Many Americans bought summer homes in the province and visited annually. My father worked for many years at the base in Stephenville and made many American friends there. Many would visit and join us for Sunday dinners. .

Besides our American friends, there were many Canadians who also died on that terrible day. So, yes, this is a heavy day. Here is a rundown of planes landed in airports across Newfoundland and Labrador:

There is a second reason this date is forever burnished into my brain. On this day in 2012 my nephew died from cancer, after a heroic battle. His brother had died suddenly in March of that same year from a brain aneurysm. So, today I honor my brave nephew as well as all those who perished on this day in 2001. May all souls Rest in Peace.

Namaste


I first learned of the expression, Namaste, in a letter from my brother many, many years ago, as he explained it: “The God in me recognizes the God in you”. Or words to that effect. I loved this whole concept. How different our world would be if we recognized the goodness, the divine presence in each person we interact with. The whole idea speaks of reverence and respect. We are more than the sum of our parts. We are more than our physical bodies; more than heart, lungs, brain, etc. Namaste encompasses the thought that human beings are intrinsically good, or at least have the potential of goodness within them, even the most hardened criminals (or politicians, a certain President springs to mind). In this world that seems to be spinning completely out of control with leaders that do not seem to have the good of the people at heart it is so easy to become deafened to the soft whispers of the spirit; So easy to become sad, even depressed, by the violence and turbulence that surrounds us. Yet, even in the darkness lightness comes. We have to be open to it; to be awake and aware to notice the small gifts of kindness that are everywhere: the welcoming of a stranger; the sweetness in a child’s smile; a door held open when our hands are full. I think you know what I mean. Love, light, and joy will never be overshadowed nor subsumed, not as long as enough people believe in human dignity; in Namaste.

“Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this: that he does good, not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.” – Mikhail Bakunin

“Namaste
means that my soul
acknowledges yours –
not just your light,
your wisdom,
your goodness,
but also your darkness,
your suffering,
your imperfections.
It is a recognition
and acceptance of
the inexplicable
divine absurdity,
the miraculous woven
into the ordinary,
light and darkness
intimately entwined
in magical, messy
humanity.
It means that I honor
all that you are
with all that I am.
So, namaste,
my fellow travelers.
I’m so glad we’re on
this trek through
the universe together.”
― L.R. Knost

Shadow Play


Have you ever noticed how children love to play with their shadows? I remember doing so when I was a child. In this time of shadows and darkness it is good to remember that not all shadows cause sadness, some can be quite enjoyable. I remember loving how sometimes my body threw long, thin shadows while at other times, depending on the position of the sun, there was barely a shadow at all. Lately my cat has been shadowing me. She is often right at my heels no matter where I go in the house. It’s comical, really. Just another example of how shadows can be pleasant and entertaining. Mehmet Murat Ildan said, “I like my shadow; it reminds me that I exist”. I love that. In these challenging times when existence itself seems to be at peril it is nice to be reminded that we are here in this moment and time. Wherever you may be on this good earth, I hope you take time to play with your shadow. The child in us needs to play; to appreciate light and shadow; to grow and to remember we exist.


“There is no light without shadow, just as there is no happiness without pain” – Isabel Allende

Drifting


Drifting along waiting for this freaking virus to be annihilated. Will that ever happen? I don’t know about you but I feel so very drained by it all. I am just so tired – mentally, spiritually, and physically. And empty – so empty. Yet, I know in my deepest being that we are not forgotten. We are not alone. When my strength is gone, I know I can rely on the Divine One to carry me through; to lift me up and provide the hope and encouragement I need. When I feel lost and alone; when I feel like I cannot go on, from out of nowhere this flickering wick is re-lit and the flame leaps high. Sometimes that comes in the form of human hands. Sometimes it comes during a walk-in nature. Sometimes it comes through the loving attention of family members or friends. Sometimes it is as simple as sitting and stroking my cat’s fur. Yes, it always comes, that strength and peace I need. So, I will rest here and wait knowing that I will be given all I need for this day and the next and the next….

May you be given whatever it is you may need today. And may you recognize the blessing when it comes. Be well. Be safe.

Mud and mosquitoes


Note to self, Never leave the trail, especially on a humid morning

Some days it just does not pay to go for a walk. It’s been raining here a lot this month. Rain is in the forecast again for every day this week. Enough already! But yesterday was beautiful and this morning dawned lovely and bright. So, I decided to make use of the nice weather while I could and went for a walk along the riverbank. I’d decided to go to a trail I haven’t walked in almost a year, but wanted to be near the river (that was a big mistake). I left the trail and climbed down the bank to walk along the shore of the river. That was fine and I made it without mishap. On the way back I once again climbed the bank up to the trail and fell in the muddy and very wet grass. The grass is very long there. I was soaked! Mud all over me! To make matters worst, the air was thick with humidity and the mosquitoes fierce. And just when I was almost to the top of the bank I fell again. Now my shoes were soaked as were my jeans. My hands and forearms covered in much and nowhere to rinse it off. Good times. And the nippers left many itchy spots. The best part of the morning was meeting Naya (her name means little sister), a husky cross. Her owner told me she is also part wolf. She came out of the woods just as I reached my car. What a sweet doggie, very friendly. I had a brief chat with her owner before climbing into my car to go home and shower. Silver linings. And my sweet Callie-cat was happy to welcome me home, despite the mud. Aw, unconditional love!

Have a nice, mud-free, day my friends. I am going to try to find something to take the itch away from these bites.

On “Holy Insecurity”


“This is the kingdom of God, the kingdom of danger and of risk, of eternal beginning and eternal becoming, of opened spirit and of deep realization, the kingdom of holy insecurity.” – Martin Burber

If there is one thing that is true about this Coronavirus, it is in this quote from Martin Buber. When the world is shaken to its core and all seems dark and dismal. When sickness and death surround us. When we hit rock bottom. It is then and only then we begin to realize our powerlessness. It is then we are opened to throw ourselves on the mercy of a higher intelligence, a merciful divinity. It is then we begin to search the mystery of the Divine One. For surely these days are filled with “holy insecurity”.

A little over a year ago I was in Edmonton with my husband. He was so sick I was convinced he could die, and probably would die. It was a time of great stress, great insecurity, and many questions and doubts. Yet, against all odds he made it. He survived. My weak faith became strengthened through these days only to be tested once again as the Coronavirus plagued the world.  Fear ruled for a while. Anxiety reigned supreme. But then, out of the darkness faith was once again reborn.

I live in Canada, but news of the horror presently taking place in the United States and around the world has me very concerned. Yet in these times of great suffering, death, and loss of every kind a quiet, still voice reassures me: we are not alone.

 As I sit with the mystery that is God, I am comforted. The world has seen other great plagues and during those times surely people felt insecure, anxious, afraid. Surely it was an opportunity to turn again, to become, to learn and live and come to greater understanding, insight and wisdom. People ask where is this God? Where is this love and mercy? And I think to myself: it is in the kind ministrations of health staff. It is in the compassion and care of family members and friends. Sometimes it is in the kindnesses extended by strangers. It is in the patience and endurance of people who, perhaps, do not share our convictions, opinions, or faith traditions. It is in the trust of a child and the wisdom in the eyes of the old. And, it is in abundance in nature.

I sit here and I pray: May the Divine One bring us all we need. May we know the comfort of loving hearts and hands. May we know justice, kindness, patience, friendship, and help in all our needs. May we be granted the gifts of trust and perseverance. May we sit with this “holy insecurity” knowing we are held in infinitely tender hands by an intelligence that is far greater than our human understanding.

Amen.