06
Nov
18

11.6.18 … I am a hoarder. I must admit it and move on …

Things …

I am a hoarder. I must admit it and move on. I have things that date back 100+ years. Some have a story that I know and others do not.

I am going through my house chest by chest, closet by closet, bookshelf by bookshelf, room by room.

Today, I did one very old chest and two overstuffed hall/coat closets. I gave many things to Goodwill, including 8 coats, I have a large bag of trash ready for the curb, and I now realize I probably don’t need to buy most lightbulb sizes and styles ever again.

However, these items made me pause:

1. A Dyson pink vacuum cleaner that I bought during one October Breast Cancer Awareness campaign many years ago. There was a period of time where I bought an item each year and named it for a friend who had had breast cancer. Every time I have used this vacuum cleaner I have thought of my dear friend Cary. It has cleaned up many a mess.

2. A London Fog men’s khaki colored jacket with zip out down lining that my mother bought for her father, my grandfather, a farmer who would have never spent that kind of money on himself. My mom bought it in the mid80s. He had never had a down jacket, and it kept him warm during the last few years of his life. My grandfather Joe L Dennard (and for whom I am named) traveled extensively, but the one place he never traveled, and wanted to, was Alaska. Last year when I traveled to Alaska I grabbed the jacket on a whim. Once there, I wore it on a glacier hike with John and my son Jack, our guide. I believe my grandfather was with me. Today, I decided to donate it. It has barely been worn, and I hope it will keep some person warm and they will feel the love that went into this gift many, many years ago.

The value of these things are in the stories.

Blessings and Tidings of Good Will …

11.6.18

27
Oct
18

10.27.18 … trunk or treat and uniclying monsters and a just a pile of rocks labyrinth …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Mission Campus – Newton NC:

So the directions on the World Wide Labyrinth locator took me to the church itself, a lovely old Lutheran church with red doors. But the note clearly states that the labyrinth is on the mission campus, a mile and 1/2 south on Startown Road.

As I drove south, I passed a large field and had to circle back around to get to the Mission Campus. I pulled into the parking lot and there were a group of kids, all boys, practicing unicycle riding. I headed across the field and asked one of the parents, toting a unicycle, about the labyrinth. The woman responded with directions and a caveat: it’s just “that pile of rocks over there.” I’m assuming she did not want me to be disappointed. She said that I could cut across the field, quicker, or take the path.

I chose the path, and was delighted to see what was meant by the signage that told me that this was a “prayer path.” Along the path through the woods, there were nine stops, each with a sign with a portion of the Lord’s Prayer, a bench and a birdbath or other yard art.

The labyrinth is a rock labyrinth (rocks on sand) and is a full 11 circuit Chartres. I was delighted.

A group of the unicycling boys was hiding in the woods and jumping out at anyone who came to find them. They warned me. 🙂

The walk was pleasant enough. Albert thinks I’m crazy, and since there was a crowd at this mission campus, I could not let him sit by himself.

I was very impressed with the facilities at the mission campus. A large covered picnic area with a great playground and this wonderful labyrinth. Hospitality at its finest and a gift to this community.

It was about a 30 minute drive to get here from downtown Charlotte. As I drove up Highway 16 and then on the back roads into Newton NC, I noticed it almost every church, including St. Paul’s Lutheran, had on their marquee, “trunk or treat!“. I think it is interesting that some conservative Christians have taken offense to Halloween, while others, especially in this part of North Carolina, have used it as a an opportunity to serve their members, their families and their community.

Quote for today …

“Hospitality, biblically, is not only the way we express God’s love. It’s also the way we encounter God.”

Source: Hospitality on the Way | Sojourners, https://sojo.net/articles/hospitality-way

10.27.17

27
Oct
18

10.27.18 … even if you feel nothing, see nothing …

Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Morning Star Lutheran Chapel, Mathews NC:

It has been raining for a day and today it is blustery and wet again.

I’m spending the day visiting labyrinths. I had considered a day drive to Asheville to see the fall leaves, but I don’t think today would be a good day.

So here are a few shots of this favorite labyrinth.

And since I did some research this summer on Julian of Norwich and am a bit melancholy today, I found this in my saved quotes file:

“Pray, even if you feel nothing, see nothing. For when you are dry, empty, sick, or weak. At such a time is your prayer most pleasing to God, even though you may find little joy in it. This is true of all believing prayer.” – Julian of Norwich

10.27.18

15
Oct
18

10.15.18 … “I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.” ― Fred Rogers

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

There was still lots of debris to be cleaned up in Charlotte from Michael and Florence, streets, driveways, yards and, yes, even this lovely Labyrinth at Myers Park Baptist Church. I saw two full tree removal crews removing downed trees. Queens Road near Myers Park Methodist was closed down in both directions.

It’s cooler today and there are twigs and many acorns. I kept hoping to see a squirrel or two scampering across the labyrinth to collect a few.

I actually got off my path today. I must’ve been focused on the acorns and not the turns.

A yard crew is nearby blowing and sawing …

And my enneagram class was interesting. Today we discussed twos, the helpers. Paul started by asking me to focus on someone I loved … at the end I felt my love relations are all complicated.

And a nice quote :

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.”

― Fred Rogers

10.15.18

29
Sep
18

9.29.18 … “As a temporary dwelling, the sukkah also represents the fact that all existence is fragile, and therefore Sukkot is a time to appreciate the shelter of our homes and our bodies.” … Chag Sameach!

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Sukkot, homelessness:

Today was a weird one. I went to Avondale very conflicted, just wanted a quick respite from the trials and tribulations of life. Shortly after I arrived and was walking, I heard a yell from a black car. The car was a limo type service car, and the driver asked if I could help his customer. She was looking for a Jewish synagogue, Havurat Tikvah.

Since I am not a member of Avondale, I did not know if possibly a Jewish congregation met there. But I searched on my iPhone after walking back to Labyrinth, and I realized that the congregation did indeed meet at this church. So I walked back. I found the webpage for the congregation. Today is the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, and she wanted to participate.

Many years ago when we lived in Wilmette IL, a neighbor held a Sukkot celebration. So of course today I did a little research:

“Sukkot, commonly translated as Feast of Tabernacles … also known as Chag HaAsif, the Feast of Ingathering, is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month.”

And,

“Sukkot (Feast of Booths or Tabernacles) is one of the three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the shalosh regalim. It is an agricultural festival that originally was considered a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Sukkot are hut-like structures that the Jews lived in during the 40 years of travel through the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. As a temporary dwelling, the sukkah also represents the fact that all existence is fragile, and therefore Sukkot is a time to appreciate the shelter of our homes and our bodies.”

See the full post:https://toriavey.com/what-is-sukkot/#foz5FMf5uapc6267.99

So after offering to take her to the private residence, she got out of the car. I realized from her baggage, a series of grocery bags, that she was probably a homeless person. She had been traveling up and down the East Coast primarily by bus and that she had landed in Charlotte. After looking at the Jewish congregation’s website, I realized that the festival of tents celebration was at a private residence 5 miles away. I offered to take her there.

Meanwhile, a member of the Avondale congregation let her into the building so she could use the restroom and she disappeared for 20+ minutes. When she finally came out, she clearly had taken a bath in the sink in the restroom. My heart was heavy because I wanted to help and was scared. But I ventured fourth to the home where the Sukkot celebration was to be held. She fell asleep in my car several times on the way there. But when she was awake, she was fairly engaged.

Once at that private residence, I let her out. This is what she wanted to do. However, I feel very sad that I could not help more.

Chag Sameach!

9.29.18

21
Sep
18

9.21.18 … “When someone asks you why you walk a labyrinth, tell them it’s because silence isn’t empty..it’s full of answers!” – unknown

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church – Mooresville NC, Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC, kith/kin, silver linings:

Today I planned to travel to Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke VA for my annual retreat with 16 college friends. This weekend feeds my soul. And today I woke up with what I assume is a kidney stone. And the only cure at this point is heavy dose of ibuprofen and lots of water. This, too, will pass.

But there was a silver lining … there usually is. I spent the day with another Davidson friend who is in town to watch her son swim for Davidson. She gave me her day. We enjoyed lunch at the Pickled Peach and then ventured north to Mooresville to walk a new-to-me labyrinth at St. Patrick’s Episcopal.

It is a small Medieval 7-circuit labyrinth nestled in a corner of the church’s campus. They offered a pamphlet and I think it a good one, offering history and guidance with a clear message of welcome to all. The pamphlet used Psalm 16:11 as guidance.

You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

I’ve attached a copy of the pamphlet.

And here is some info on this labyrinth: http://www.lakenormanpublications.com/mooresville_weekly/boy-scout-s-prayer-labyrinth-created-to-heal-community/article_6cb4dc46-b509-11e7-94d2-e34c8e33834d.html

After our walk, we headed to Charlotte to Queens, trying to avoid the nightmarish I77 traffic. Once in Charlotte we walked the MPBC labyrinth.

So if I have to be here, I couldn’t ask for a nicer way to spend my day. Thanks, RA!

Quote:

When someone asks you why you walk a labyrinth, tell them it’s because silence isn’t empty..it’s full of answers! – unknown

9.21.18

07
Sep
18

9.7.18 … “Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Red Boot Way:

Today I walked with my labyrinth buddy after the Friday Red Boot Way meeting. At the meeting, we talked around “Step Ten: When I practice these steps on a regular basis I gain and experience compassion for myself and others. I am compassionate.” As with most gatherings I am always amazed where the Step takes us.

Toni and I entered the sacred space. At the fountain, the water was a distinct chemically blue. Hmmm …

And then, once we reached the labyrinth, the devastation caused by the weed killer (Roundup?) was so overwhelming. We need to be better stewards of the earth.

Before we walked, we both shared/dumped burdensome thoughts. I was hopeful this would uplift the labyrinth walking. And it did …

I have noted many times that my walks tend to bring on a heightened level of awareness. Today, I noticed the crickets, the construction noises, and an ambulance siren. I noticed the barrenness of the area due to the intentional removal of “weeds.” But why are the hostas dying?

As I walked I was very aware of my need to stoop as I passed under tree limbs on the outer circuits, the first leaves of fall, the pruning of the bushes on the periphery and the survival of the fittest weeds.

I finished before my friend and I decided to walk the circumference, twice. I noticed for the first time that there is no space beyond the outer circuit to walk so I walked the outer circuit. The first time I walked counterclockwise and the second clockwise. In retrospect, I thought a better practice would be to walk once before my walk, counterclockwise to take my walk out of chrona time, and then again after my walk, clockwise, as I re-enter chrona time. My friend commented that maybe it should be the opposite to signify sealing and unsealing of the sacred space.

And here are a few thoughts that I have been pondering …

“Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image. In indigenous traditions, such opening practices often take the form of dance, drumming, song, and trance, embodied forms that Western, and particularly Euro-centric, Christianity has neglected.

I invite you to return to this Navajo prayer when you have the space and time to literally move or walk with it. If you’re able to walk, you might take off your shoes and walk barefoot. Move slowly, noticing the sensations in your body—discomfort, surprise, challenge, pleasure, ease. Take in your surroundings with a soft, receptive gaze. What do you see? Listen to whatever there is to hear—your own breathing, birds, traffic. You may choose to pay attention to one sense at a time or try to hold two simultaneously. Be present to what is. Walk or move in this way for several minutes or even half an hour. When you have ended, bow in gratitude for your body, for the beauty surrounding you, and for the beauty that will continue to follow you everywhere you go.”

http://email.cac.org/t/ViewEmail/d/E4725E955B98E0852540EF23F30FEDED/1DC1AEAE5E535C1F0B3A73003FEB3522

And this …

“To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly. Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings. We forget so quickly that we are God’s beloved children and allow the many curses of our world to darken our hearts. Therefore we have to be reminded of our belovedness and remind others of theirs. Whether the blessing is given in words or with gestures, in a solemn or an informal way, our lives need to be blessed lives.”

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | Daily Meditation | Henri Nouwen Society, https://henrinouwen.org/resources/daily-meditation/

Blessings.

9.7.18




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