A Prayer for Strength to Carry On


Divine One

My strength has ebbed in recent months

It has all become too heavy

And I am weak

Divine One

I beg you, please

Lend me your strength

Divine One,

Are you there?

Can you hear my whispered prayer?

Lift the burdens we carry

Remove the blindness from our eyes

Shine Your light into our hearts and minds

Help us remember that all is not lost

Help us know that You are here with us

Always, and forever with us

Let us not give in to despair

But fill us with renewed hope

And joy and peace;

With loving kindness for one another,

And for you, Divine One

Let us learn what we must

And be for one another

What you would have us be

Please, Divine One

Hear my plea

And let your blessings

Of peace and healing flow

Like the lava of a volcano

Out and over this good earth

Divine One, please

And thank you, too

That here I stand, though weak,

Before you

Divine One

Thank you

Serenity Sunday: Building bridges


These photos were taken mainly in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador, a few here in Alberta, and one in Ontario. At this time of great change and great challenges I thought it would be worth sharing and contemplating, as we all need to build bridges in this world of turmoil and challenges. May we all be architects of bridges and not of walls.

“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” – Andre Lorde

An old bridge that is no longer in operation, though it served the communities of Stephenville and Stephenville Crossing in Newfoundland well for many, many years.
sometimes, the gulf is not wide and we need only a little bridge to cross it. This one is part of the Gravels Nature Trail in Port au Port West, Newfoundland & Labrador
Crossing a river in St. George’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
One of the pedways that cross above the busy street and connects the various buildings of the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, AB, Canada keeping pedestrians safe….let us build bridges of safety
Bowring Park, St; John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
The “new” bridge over Romaine’s River near Port au Port East, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
A bridge to safety – the overpass over highway 63 taken during the enforced evacuation during the wildfires of 2016 in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Even little bridges serve a function, taken in Stephenville, Newfoundland & Labrador on the “Wee Care Nature Trail” behind the Kindale Public Library
Heritage Park, Fort McMurray, Ab, Canada
also taken in Heritage Park, Fort McMurray, AB, Canada
In Riverside Park, Guelph, ON, Canada
St. George’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

I leave you with this prayer, written by Alycia Longriver, because I believe in the power of prayer as a bridge between all peoples:

Creator, open our hearts
to peace and healing between all people.
Creator, open our hearts
to provide and protect for all children of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth.
Creator, open our hearts
to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all.
Thank-you for the gifts of this day and every day.

~ written by Alycia Longriver, Native American (Micmac), 1995

Prayer for Healing for All People


Divine One, I beg of you,

Stretch out your healing hand

So much hurt, so much pain

engulfs this world

Divine One, Do you see us?

Do you see the suffering?

So many ill, so many dying

Divine One, please

Stretch our your healing hand

Touch hardened hearts, touch mine, I plead

Grant my legs strength to walk abroad

Over hills and over vales

Divine One, touch my mind,

Help me understand

Bless these hands,

Let them work for you and for all people,

Those I know and love so well

And those I have yet to meet

Divine One, strengthen these arms

To lift the fallen ones

Give sweetness to my lips,

So that the words that fall from my mouth

May bring comfort to help sad hearts sing

Divine One, please

Deliver me and shield me please,

Now, as I go forth to serve and honour

Thee

(Please note: these words were given me as I lay in bed waiting for sleep to come. Do not ascribe these words to me but to the Divine One, who loves and watches over us all.)

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

In gratitude for this good earth


The grandeur of mountains

The secrets of the sea

Raging rivers and quietly moving streams

Lush green meadows

And valleys sweet and low

Aw, good earth, what pleasures you bestow

The stars spread across the universe

The moon that guides the tides

The sun so far above us, warming all below

Winged creatures, and those that walk on land

Whales, and fish and swimming things

Flowers and trees and more

What treasure you have given us

What wonders to be seen

Life is full and plenty, a joy to behold

I am grateful, so very grateful

For all that I can see and hear

For all the beauty of this world

Divine One, I give you thanks

For the abundance you have given

I thank you for each day I’m blessed

To be here; to be living

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

A Call for Mercy


Your frustration, like a toxic cloud, leaks into the air

Negative energies, like a million porcupine quills, stab my spirit

Waves of anger, hatred, cruelly aimed to pierce my soul

Disturbing my peace and sending contentment into the abyss

I try to walk away, to defend myself with space

Your anger follows me seeking that vulnerable crevice,

That crack where it can invade and poison

I cry out to the Divine One for protection, for help

And help comes, bathing me in consolation

I will not be your emotional punching bag, I refuse

And the Divine One, the great mystery, sends help

In human form with warm heart and empathy

With gentle hands and understanding eyes

And I am absolved, forgiven, for my part in this unholy dance

And in my weakness, I am given strength

To persevere, to rise above

The sharpened arrows flung with abandon

A shield surrounds me, protection given

Darkness pierced by loving kindness

And I heal, slowly, slowly I heal

And I am made whole again

And as before the emotional storm

All is well, all is well

Peace and contentment return, like a loyal dog

To dispatch the final dregs of unease

And I call this, ‘mercy’

Serenity Sunday: Beauty of Nature


One of my all-time favorite songs is It’s a Wonderful World by the great Louis Armstrong. Every morning waking up to the beauty of this good earth how can I not feel it is anything but wonderful world? There is so much beauty in every nook and corner of the planet. Yes, this pandemic weighs heavy at times, but when we go outside nature is always there to provide balm for the spirit. I hope you will find balm for your soul in this week’s offerings. We won’t be going anywhere today but I hope you enjoy the wonderful beauty right here at or near my home.

On Canada Day in 2018 we were treated to a double rainbow. The colors were especially vibrant that day on July 1st

“Mirth is like a flash of lightening, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity.” – Joseph Addison

The skies always amaze me, constantly changing with clouds that morph into various shapes in the blink of an eye

“You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.” – Black Elk

I don’t know which is more beautiful to witness, dawn or sunset, both are so beautiful

“When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.” – Joy Harjo

This was just one of many beautiful sunrises

“Ah, Hope! What would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of today, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.” – Susanna Moodie

Sacred night, when the clouds separate and the moon shines down on the city

“Never lose hope. The darkest clouds precede the loveliest rain!” – Avijeet Das

Summer, season of long days and beautiful flowers….life seems to expand in summer

“At the entrance, my bare feet on the dirt floor, here gusts of heat, at my back, white clouds. I stare and stare. It seems I was called for this: to glorify things just because they are.” – Czeslaw Milosz

Summer beckons us to come to the water . . .

“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” – Regina Butt

Nature at it’s most dramatic …

 “Only he shakes the heavens and from its treasure takes out the winds. He joins the waters and the clouds and produces the rain. Only he realizes miracles permanently.” – Michael Servetus

Blue skies, smiling at me …

“I think I will be able to, in the end, rise above the clouds and climb the stairs to Heaven, and I will look down on my beautiful life.” – Yayoi Kusama

A new day, a new dawn a sacred gift, always

 “Religion is among the most beautiful and most natural of all things – that religion that ‘sees God in clouds and hears him in the wind,’ which endows every object of sense with a living soul, which finds in the system of nature whatever is holy, mysterious, and venerable, and inspires the bosom with sentiments of awe and veneration.” – William Godwin

Over the hills and among the trees, what new mystery awaits?

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” – St. Augustine

No matter what storms may come, a new light will always break through

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

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

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.