09
May
20

5.9.20 … one lonely Rhododendrum welcoming me …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, Sardis Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

The birds! And full canopy… And it is unseasonably cool, 60°. There was even snow up in the North Carolina mountains last night. This is the latest snowfall in North Carolina on record.

Today, most of the Lenten Roses were gone, all of the daffodils were gone, and there was one lonely Rhododendrum welcoming me.

It was really unseasonably cold/cool today, and there was a slight breeze which made it seem even cooler.

One of the first things I noticed today was the broken stone bench. Just like in Avondale, these very heavy stone benches seem to have been waiting for some mischievous youth to knock one over. I can’t imagine that it fell over on its own.

So, yes, it seemed odd that such a massive stone structure could collapse. It took a lot effort to knock it over.

I was in full shade as I walked.

Everyone has been talking about the increase in animal activity in urban environments. Well, the birds were really having a party. And my husband saw what he thought was a fox in our yard early this morning. That’s amazing.

5.9.20

02
May
20

4.22.20 – 5.2.20 … “being a mama” challenge …

I was nominated by Ruth Ann to complete this challenge. Everyday I picked a picture of a day in the life of a mama, posted without explanation and nominated someone to take the challenge. That’s 10 days, 10 photos, and 10 nominations.

Day 1/10:

Day 2/10:

Day 3/10:

Day 4/10:

Day 5/10:

Day 6/10:

Day 7/10:

Day 8/10:

Day 9/10:

Day 10/10:

Ok … today I celebrate my mom who taught me well. But I must mention my grandmother, my mother-in-law, my sister and sisters in law, great aunts, aunts, cousins and so many friends. And of course my children. You made “being a mama” much less of a challenge.

26
Apr
20

4.26.20 … “Love, joy, and peace are deep states of Being or rather three aspects of the state of inner connectedness with Being. As such, they have no opposite. This is because they arise from beyond the mind…”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, Sardis Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

I don’t have to walk because I made a commitment to walk; I don’t have to think about walking; so today is just a walk because I want to walk.

It’s a nice cool day, and I am welcomed by the purple flowers today. Is that an azalea? The bush next to it is about to erupt. What is it?

Well, both are rhododendrons, and that seems very interesting since one has not a single bloom, and the other is fully flowered. And they are located right next to each other in the same conditions. Weird.

I’m feeling better about some things today that have been worrying me for weeks, months, years. It’s nice to at least have a little lightening of the heart. So this is a celebratory walk.

it was an absolutely perfect day, maybe a little bit windy, but I loved being outside on this partly sunny day.

A lot has happened since my last walk on Easter Sunday. The coronavirus quarantine has continued, and may well continue for weeks or even months.

So here are a few things that have kept me entertained these last two weeks:

1. I acknowledge myself as a Janeite. I thought this adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel was a little strange. That said, I would love to see them continue the story. I did enjoy the characters and the setting. Source: Save ‘Sanditon!’ All The reasons We Need to Save This Charming Romance Now More Than Ever, https://www.newsweek.com/save-sanditon-all-reasons-we-need-save-this-charming-romance-now-more-ever-1499489

2. John and I are lucky to call Tom a friend. John and Tom were talking recently and Tom agreed to work with the college to produce this video. From the college alumni page … “Earlier today, NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration astronaut Tom Marshburn ’82 led a discussion with students, faculty and staff regarding dealing with isolation based on his experience in space. He and some of his colleagues recorded their experiences and advice for the Davidson College community. We hope you will take a few minutes to watch this video and learn some tips that may help during this time. Thank you, Tom! #DavidsonTrue”. Astronaut Tom Marshburn ’82 and Colleagues Message to the Davidson Community, https://youtu.be/Q8nHETE4H9s

3. Current read … Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved.

“Barbara Brown Taylor gave the church fresh language for faith alive in the world. Brené Brown gave us scholarship so that the world could hear the gospel truth of strength in vulnerability anew. And now, Kate Bowler models how to do it. It was the

book she never wanted to write. But thanks be to God for her whimsy, courage, wisdom and, most especially, love.”

And now a few quotes…

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”

― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

[Love and joy] are inseparable from your natural state of inner connectedness with Being. Glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible whenever a gap occurs in the stream of thought. For most people, such gaps happen rarely and only accidentally, in moments when the mind is rendered “speechless,” sometimes triggered by great beauty, extreme physical exertion, or even great danger. Suddenly, there is inner stillness. And within that stillness there is a subtle but intense joy, there is love, there is peace…

But they are not what I would call emotions. They lie beyond the emotions, on a much deeper level. So you need to become fully conscious of your emotions and be able to feel them before you can feel that which lies beyond them. Emotion literally means “disturbance.” The word comes from the Latin emovere, meaning “to disturb.”

Love, joy, and peace are deep states of Being or rather three aspects of the state of inner connectedness with Being. As such, they have no opposite. This is because they arise from beyond the mind…

– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

4.26.20

17
Apr
20

4.17.20 … online virtual shared finger walk … art activist Barbie …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Labyrinth Walks, on line virtual labyrinth walk @ home-Charlotte NC: :

Virtual finger labyrinth walk with 200+ labyrinth enthusiasts and hosted by labyrinth guru Lauren Artress!

Art Activist Barbie:

She pops up in galleries, denouncing prestigious works of art as ‘pre-Raphaelite wet T-shirt competitions’. Now ArtActivistBarbie is taking her feminist message to social media

Source: ‘That’s not art it’s Victorian porn!’ – how one small Barbie doll took on the art world | Art and design | The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/apr/16/art-activist-barbie-protester-feminist-agenda

4.17.20

12
Apr
20

4.12.20 … “We may not transform reality, but we may transform ourselves. And if we transform ourselves, we might just change the world a bit.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (47/40), Easter 2020, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, kith/kin:

He has risen, indeed!

For the last nine years, if I was in Charlotte, I would attend Avondale’s Easter Sunrise Service. Weather permitting, it was held on the labyrinth. A very appropriate end of my Lenten Walks.

And today there is no scheduled service, but I ventured out with a friend for a Easter Sunrise Labyrinth Walk.

As I drove to Avondale, I thought about how strikingly different this year has been. Normally I am traveling regularly throughout the Southeast and finding new labyrinths in new locations. Because of the coronavirus quarantine restrictions, I have been limited and have primarily walked labyrinths within 5 miles of my home. And Spring came early to the southeast this year. The daffodils were blooming in early February and definitely gone by this point in April. And even the dogwoods are passed their peak. So it is a very green Easter.

As I walked this morning with my friend, we discussed a new labyrinth to be installed in the next year or so at her home church, St. John’s Episcopal. Toni, a mutual friend, is the force behind this new labyrinth which is being built in memory of her husband Win who died in 2017. She has orchestrated a canvas labyrinth for St. John’s prior to the installation of the outdoor permanent labyrinth. I told my friend that the canvas labyrinth’s boundaries are green for two reasons: green is the color designated for Ordinary Time in the church liturgical calendar and green is the school color of Charlotte Country Day, the school where her husband taught for many years. So it seems appropriate that today the primary color that I see is green…

But actually today green symbolizes not ordinary time, but Extraordinary Time.

Although the day had broken when we arrived, the sun had not quite risen. I could see in the distance a faint pink sky telling me that the sun would be arriving from that direction.

This sacred garden is a sanctuary for birds, and today they were rejoicing this new day. We heard them as soon as we got out of the car.

When we entered the garden, a man and his wife were building the traditional Easter flower cross. They told us that although there would be no services today, the congregation has been invited to drop by and add flowers to the cross. They invited us to add flowers.

Again, my overwhelming sensory experiences were the color green and the singing of birds. I am sure this is an ordinary day for them, but I am not often here at this time, so it was an extraordinary experience for me.

The chimes were silent this morning. I often forget that the chimes are there to celebrate children who are part of this faith community who have died.

After walking the labyrinth, we walked the circular path to the cross on the hill.

And then we added flowers to the cross.

It was joyful to have a companion walk with me this morning.

It is an extraordinary time… He has risen, indeed.

And a quote from the poet Gary Snyder:

“We may not transform reality, but we may transform ourselves. And if we transform ourselves, we might just change the world a bit.”

Blessings to all…

4.12.20

2020 Lenten Lists

Blessings:

Too many to list …

11
Apr
20

4.11.20 … “I believe we still have opportunities to meet the Divine (whatever you believe that to be), because in the wilderness, we connect with That Which Is Greater Than Ourselves (one of my favorite names for God), and we are embraced by sense of belonging, of oneness, and of peace.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (42/40), 2020 Lenten Lists, Sardis Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

Today is that weird day in the Triduum…my new word.

And of course I researched what the Presbyterians have to say about the Triduum …

Notes for Explaining the Triduum / Three Days

There should be a sense of continuity uniting the services of Holy Week, from Passion / Palm Sunday to the Resurrection of the Lord. The services of the Triduum (or Three Days) in particular — Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Resurrection of the Lord — are really intended to be one whole event that stretches across three days. These brief explanatory notes are offered to bridge the gaps between the services, helping to give the sense that the event is ongoing. These notes might printed in the beginnings of the orders of worship, as indicated.

Maundy Thursday

On Passion/Palm Sunday we celebrated the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem … and then turned with him to face the cross, where he gave his life for us and our salvation. Tonight we keep the feast that Jesus shared with his disciples on the night of his arrest, and we remember his new commandment to love one another even as he has loved us.

Good Friday

On Maundy Thursday we kept the feast that Jesus shared with his disciples on the night of his arrest, and we remembered his new commandment: to love one another even as he has loved us. This afternoon we turn to the cross, where Jesus gave his life for us and our salvation.

Easter Sunday / Easter Vigil

On Good Friday we witnessed the tragedy of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, where he gave his life for us and our salvation. Today, on the first day of the week, [or Tonight at the Easter Vigil] we gather at the tomb … only to discover that the stone is rolled away, and the grave is empty. Today [Tonight] we celebrate the good news of the gospel: Jesus Christ is risen!

Office of Theology and Worship, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 1

https://www.presbyterianmission.org/wp-content/uploads/notes_for_explaining_the_triduum.pdf

So there is really nothing for me to do on Holy Saturday, but rest … so I tried to rest. But I did walk.

As I pulled into Sardis Baptist, a couple of moms and kids with bikes were there … I asked them if they were using the labyrinth, and they said no, that they lived nearby, and they were just using the parking lot to ride bikes… Just trying to “stay sane” …

I noticed the other day when I was here that no one was preparing the grounds for Easter. Well, today someone had clearly power washed the labyrinth. So it was clean and pollen free. It was refreshing.

And I walked, i was soothed by the absolutely gorgeous blue sky, the fully developed tree canopy and the bright pink azaleas that were beginning to bloom. The daffodils that have charmed me during my Lenten walks were completely gone.

I thought about several passages from Rabbi Korngold’s God in the Wilderness:

“But I believe we still have opportunities to meet the Divine (whatever you believe that to be), because in the wilderness, we connect with That Which Is Greater Than Ourselves (one of my favorite names for God), and we are embraced by sense of belonging, of oneness, and of peace.

I know that it’s not always possible (or even desirable) to relocate to the middle of the desert for a month. For people who live in the city, the closest you might get to the wilderness is an urban park. But even there you can cultivate the patience to see burning bushes and open yourself to spiritual opportunity. One of my favorite “tools” for slowing down, taking notice, and being fully present is a short sensory meditation that can be done anywhere.

As we hiked, I asked the group to try to consciously slow down their minds and shift into their “Sabbath souls,” to allow themselves to experience the calmness and grace that surrounded us.”

– God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold

My Lenten Labyrinth Walks definitely help me to rest, to slow down my mind and to shift into my Sabbath Soul; they allow me to experience the calmness and grace that surrounds me.

Blessings …

4.11.20

10
Apr
20

4.10.20 … “more a day for silent gazing and pondering than it is for discursive thought.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (45 & 46/40), 2020 Lenten Lists, St. Stephen United Methodist Church – Charlotte NC:

To be sure, it feels wintry enough still: but often in the very early spring it feels like that. Two thousand years are only a day or two by this scale. A man really ought to say, “The Resurrection happened two thousand years ago” in the same spirit in which he says, “I saw a crocus yesterday.” – CS Lewis

Absolutely gorgeous day with a light wind and 57°. It is Good Friday and this day is significant to me because my first child who turns 30 next week was born on Easter Sunday. And I worked on Good Friday trying to finish up all that needed to be done as well as getting my taxes filed. He ended up being born two days later. on Easter Morning.

I arrived at St. Stephen and immediately heard the birds calling. And right before I walked, John’s mom called. We had a great chat, so this was a walk and talk. There were some things that I thought about as I finished. One is the view of the cross that overlooks the picnic area and columbarium that I see by peaking through the bushes. And that may lead me to think about burial practices. And this is a real problem in the pandemic period. There have been articles about it. People are not allowed to gather and celebrate someone’s life as we historically have done and the bodies cannot be processed as are required or as customary in some cultures.

“For centuries, Hindus gathered to burn corpses on funeral pyres along the Ganges River. Jews received condolences at home during a seven-day mourning period. Muslims huddled together to wash the corpses of loved ones in Iraq and across the Arab world.

But global burial rituals are being dramatically changed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Organization in its March 24 guidance on burials of COVID-19 victims says dead bodies are generally not infectious. But its recommendations that relatives not touch or kiss the body and government rules on social distancing to prevent the spread of disease have upended important funeral and death rituals in virtually all of the world’s faiths.

Just as the United States now restricts gatherings for funerals, so do countries and religious authorities around the world.”

Source: The Coronavirus Is Changing How The World Buries — And Mourns — Its Loved Ones : Goats and Soda : NPR, https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/04/07/828317535/coronavirus-is-changing-the-rituals-of-death-for-many-religions

And that made me think about Jesus being placed in a tomb. So is that why historically Christians have been buried in tombs? I’ll have to think about that a little bit.

My second walk was a virtual finger labyrinth walk with over 300 people all over the world. It was led by Lauren Artress on Zoom. I joined the global labyrinth community for this online Finger Labyrinth Walk and Meditation. Lauren introduced some of the other facilitators and then provided 10 minutes of music to listen as we walked. We talked about the need for “practices” in this time. A friend recommended that I not only “walk” with my non-dominant hand, but that I do it with my eyes closed. Very interesting meditative experience … It was heartwarming. There will be another virtual walk next Friday and they plan to post the audio. Here is the audio from the first virtual walk. https://youtu.be/TXJVKVeWrw8. It was a nice way to spend late afternoon on Good Friday.

And then I listened to this video reflection for Good Friday, with a meditation on Michaelangelo’s Pieta, from Gary Jones at St. Stephen’s Episcopal in Richmond, Good Friday reflection on Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/406299426

Happy Sibling Day … and Blessings on this Good Friday, “more a day for silent gazing and pondering than it is for discursive thought.”

4.10.20

2020 Lenten Lists

New Words Today;

1. Triduum




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