Posts Tagged ‘Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC

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 …

08
Apr
20

4.8.20 … “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (43/40), Avondale Presbyterian Church-Charlotte NC:

Truth is eternal. Our knowledge of it is changeable. It is disastrous when you confuse the two.

— Madeleine L’Engle

There are certain people in this world just can’t do technology. And I know one of them very well and is very frustrating. I don’t know if it’s patience or what. So that certain family member will not participate in a family Zoom gathering tonight. Really chaps me…

It’s gorgeously sunny but unseasonably warm today. It is 85° today, but the weather is supposed to cool down for Easter.

There was a slight breeze and the chimes were playing. The fountain was running. The dogwoods are past their prime, but maybe they will still be some flowers for Easter this Sunday. The moon was absolutely gorgeous last night. This full moon is called the pink moon or the Paschal moon. It is this full moon that determines the date of Easter.

I shared the labyrinth with an older man and his dog, social distancing was utilized.

I tried the bird call identifier app, and it was a fail… I’m hoping it was just the clanging of the chimes that confused it. We’ll see you next time.

I haven’t said much about the Coronavirus shutdown, but this article by Arundhati Roy made me think …

Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.

We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

Source: Arundhati Roy: ‘The pandemic is a portal’ | Free to read | Financial Times, https://www.ft.com/content/10d8f5e8-74eb-11ea-95fe-fcd274e920ca

4.8.20

06
Apr
20

4.6.20 … “He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (41/40), Avondale Presbyterian Church-Charlotte NC, Epiphany Catholic Church – Anchorage KY, kith/kin:

We walked together … 500 miles apart …

If you noticed, I didn’t go for a walk yesterday, but instead i used a finger Labyrinth without the sand because the sand is packed up somewhere. It made me slow down and think just for a few minutes.

Today I shared my walk. We have done this before, RuthAnn and I. So, we set a time, and RuthAnn went to Epiphany near her home and I went to Avondale near mine. And we walked and we talked. We talked about the book I am rereading, Madeleine L’Engle’s first book of three on Genesis entitled “In the Beginning.,” with an introduction by Rachel Held Evans. I really really liked this book. And then we talked about all the different plants that were blooming in our respective gardens where we were walking. And RuthAnn noted that there is an app that will identify flowers. I need that app. So all in all, we both had great walks and collectively we had a great walk.

Later today, I attended a Bible study via Zoom that a friend has started during the quarantine. I am excited to be a part of a group that I generally only see sporadically and as a group once a year when this friend hosts a luncheon. And I missed the luncheon this year.

And several friends have shared this quote recently:

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

― Saint Francis of Assisi

Laborer, craftsman, artist …

4.6.20

2020 Lenten Lists

New Apps I’m using …

  1. Zoom
  2. Picture This Plant Identifier
01
Apr
20

4.1.20 … “Spring dances with joy in every flower and in every bud letting us know that changes are beautiful and an inevitable law of life.” ― Debasish Mridha

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (37/40), 2020 Lenten Lists, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

Yuck! Today was cold and overcast and damp, probably one of my least favorite types of days. And a little windy, so the chimes were ringing slightly.

I was so excited to see a post on social media by a new friend that I met through the labyrinth community. He is a landscape guru and he described the Japanese maples. I’ve been wondering what these trees were at Avondale, and I think from his post that they are Japanese maples. In addition, he talked about the fact that Japanese Maples flower (and that most trees flower.) So lo and behold, I looked today, and yes, I saw the flowers. I’ve never in my life noticed the flowers on this type of tree. So I learned two new things from my friend John. Thank you, John.

Here is his post … so much in there …

“April 1, 2020

Sheltering, day 9

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”

― Pablo Neruda

“Spring dances with joy in every flower and in every bud letting us know that changes are beautiful and an inevitable law of life.” ― Debasish Mridha

We watched for weeks as the large Japanese maple (ilex palmatum ‘bloodgood’) went from bare winter limbs to leaf buds. We rejoiced when we saw the tiny leaf buds start to open. We admired the beautiful burgundy red leaves as they opened and clothed the tree for the celebration of spring.

And, then yesterday…

Yesterday, Milady looked at me and said, “Look at the flowers.”

All plants (except for ferns) make flowers. Some of the flowers are insignificant, but if you look for them, you will find them.

The Japanese maple tree has flowered. Next it will make seeds. I found out once, after much experimentation, that if you harvest the seeds at the right time, allow them to dry until fall, plant them in some good potting soil, and leave them out in the cold and rain all winter, they most likely will grow into baby trees the following spring. They wait patiently until the time is right.

When the time is right this year, I’m sure that we will enjoy a second spring.

Everything is going to be all right.

— John Paul Schulz

On the way in, I dictated a note to Molly‘s boyfriend who is celebrating his birthday today. I always laugh. I knew I would finally meet someone that had the April 1 birthday. I hope he likes his day. And now I realize my nephew’s fiancé’s birthday is today as is Jane, a church friend and the aunt of a close friend … Happy birthday, Peter, Kate and Jane!)

Sometimes the labyrinth quiets me and sometimes it uplifts me. Today was an uplifting day …

4.1.20

Today’s list –

Herb garden favorites:

Parsley

Basil

Chives

Thyme

Marjoram

Sage

lavender

Dill

29
Mar
20

3.29.20 … “When we are grounded in our bodies, we are stabilized and can receive information more accurately. Much like fine-tuning a radio, if we are attuned to our bodies, the static in the incoming messages and impulses is reduced.”- Lauren Artress

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (34/40), 2020 Lenten Lists, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

It was 4:30 PM, and I had had other plans for the day, but I made a change of plans. I walked Avondale. When I arrived, there was another couple visiting/walking. So I waited.

While I waited, I walked up to the cross on the hill. During the winter, I can see downtown from the top of the hill. But today, with the trees now with leaves, I couldn’t see anything.

I noticed the wisteria… I never noticed all the wisteria in Charlotte before… it’s everywhere. On the other side of the barrier bushes of the garden is a big bamboo field. It strikes me as curious. I never have had much experience with bamboo, except that my grandmother knew where some grew in South Georgia, and we would go and cut some for our fishing poles. I have not thought about that in a long time.

It’s funny that I almost never see anyone at the labyrinths when I walk, but both yesterday and today I have found people. Maybe the labyrinths are good source of recreation or entertainment or prayer or meditation during a quarantine.

The dogwoods have come out much more fully since I was here just a few days ago. And there was yellow pollen covering everything. I guess we need another rain to clear it out.

I heard an airplane that was so loud that it overwhelmed the raucous chimes. That was interesting.

After I finished walking up to the cross, I walked by the columbarium on my way to the labyrinth. I loved it that someone took the time to put flowers into the space between the niche covers. I’ve never seen that done, and it was done in two places. Also I thank the people who left the pansies in the large pot for all to enjoy.

Something to ponder …

“When we are grounded in our bodies, we are stabilized and can receive information more accurately. Much like fine-tuning a radio, if we are attuned to our bodies, the static in the incoming messages and impulses is reduced.”- Lauren Artress

3.29.20

2020 Lenten Lists

Favorite Movies to Watch Again and Again

1. Pride and Prejudice

2. Persuasion

3. Sound of Music

4. When Harry Met Sally

5. Notting Hill

6. Pretty Woman

7. Sweet Home Alabama

8. Possession

9. Sliding Doors

10. …

23
Mar
20

3.23.20 … “That—butterfly has got more of God in him than Jackson will ever see for the rest of eternity”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (25/40), 2020 Lenten Lists, Avondale Presbyterian Church- Charlotte NC:

The first thing I noticed when I get out of my car was a pile of chopped wood. Why would a church have a stockpile of chopped wood?

.

Wow, the birds are really singing today. And just yesterday I was thinking to myself that I hadn’t seen any dogwoods beginning to bloom, and here today at Avondale they are most definitely beginning to bloom.

I love the sound of rushing water in the fountain.

There was only a slight breeze, so the chimes were quiet. It was cold , 48°, wet and overcast… Make that a slight drizzle…

The green of my yard clogs matched the green of the boundaries.

Well, the birds were really singing. I even spied a few. They were watching me, and I them.

The red leaf trees were fully leafed out. I’m going to have to look at my pictures from a few weeks ago to see what they looked like then.

There were constant chirpings of the birds. Oh, and I could see in the distance the large oak trees were beginning to leaf out.

——-

And today I finally discovered the story that introduced me to the spiritual metaphor of butterflies. I knew it as soon as I touched the book …

“If anything ever makes me believe in God… Or life after death, “his uncle said.

“It’ll be what happened this afternoon..”

“There were a lot of clouds… But they were a blowing fast, so there was a lot of sunshine too. Right when they began to lower your father into the ground, into his grave, a cloud came over and there was a shadow just iron, and a perfectly magnificent butterfly settled on the — coffin, just rested there, right over the breast, and stayed there, just barely making his wings breathe, like a heart.“

“ he stayed there all the way down,… He never stirred, except just to move his wings that way, until it graded against the bottom like a — rowboat. And just when it did the sun came out just dazzling bright and he flew up out of that that — hole in the ground, straight up into the sky, so high I couldn’t even see him anymore.“

… “If there are any such things as miracles… then that’s surely miraculous.”

Miraculous.Magnificent.

“That—butterfly has got more of God in him than Jackson will ever see for the rest of eternity”

Agee, James. A Death in the Family. New York, Bantam Books, 1972.

And there’s a family story that involves my sister, my grandparents, my cousin Judy, a funeral and a butterfly. And I have been trying to remember where I first encountered a butterfly at a funeral. It was important to me, and now I have found it.

3.23.20

19
Mar
20

3.19.20 … Spring has sprung … and a wrinkle in time …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2020 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (23/40), 2020 Lenten Lists,

Avondale Presbyterian Church-Charlotte NC:

I found this quote today and now I can’t find the source. But it is worth sharing:

“If we look at the next few weeks as a labyrinth walk, we may be able to manage it… each week is another turn toward the peaceful center resolution of the challenge, and the walk out will be into a new world of sharing, love and cooperation..”

I considered walking or visiting South Tryon United Methodist Church. They had a labyrinth, and they let it go. But I still like once a year during Lent to go visit, because I consider it still to be sacred space. I’ll go soon.

I also just realized that one of my regular walks during Lent is the labyrinth at Presbyterian Hospital. And because of the pandemic, I will not be allowed to enter during this period. Such a strange thing

Today, March 19, is the first day of spring. It’s an anomaly for it to occur on 3/19. Here’s why:

The short answer is that the time and the date are imperfect human constructs that we use to keep track of our planet’s movements.

The longer answer involves leap years.

“All of this is caused simply by the fact that the spin of the Earth doesn’t divide evenly into one year,” says Michelle Thaller, an astrophysicist turned space communications expert at NASA.

One spin of the Earth around its axis is one day. “The problem is we’re happily spinning on our axis, and the Earth is going around the Sun, but one year — one complete path around the Sun — isn’t an even, exact number of days. In fact, it’s 365.24 [days].”

Most years, we drop that extra 0.24 and pretend that the year is simply 365 days long. But the Earth’s location in its solar orbit doesn’t change just because we rounded, so the time at which we experience the equinox gets about a quarter of a day (or about 6 hours) later each year. For example, the time of the equinox would move from around 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. over the course of three years.

Every fourth year, we add a leap day to the calendar — February 29 — which gets us almost back in sync with the Earth’s orbit. The leap day turns back the clock on the time of the equinox, nearly resetting the approximately 6-hour annual leap forward from the previous three years.

The curse of the remainder

Here’s the wrinkle: the leap day we observe every four years would fix things if the length of a year were exactly 365.25 days. But remember, the actual length is closer to 365.24 days.

So the leap day intended to get us back in sync with the Earth’s solar orbit doesn’t quite do it. And that discrepancy shows up in the time of the equinox, which gets about 45 minutes earlier every leap year.

All those little rounding errors add up over time. If we blithely added a leap day every four years forever, our whole calendar would eventually be totally out of whack with the actual orbit of the Earth.

To make the calendar more accurate, we don’t add a leap day when the year is a multiple of 100 (e.g. 1700, 1800, 1900) unless that year is also a multiple of 400 (e.g. 2000). This was the big innovation of a 16th century astronomer working for Pope Gregory XIII who designed the Gregorian calendar we still use. Withholding some leap days helps keep us in sync.

As a result, there was no leap day in the year 1900, so we didn’t reset the clock at all and the time of the equinox remained later than it would have been. People who lived most of their lives in the 20th century became accustomed to observing the equinox on March 20 or 21.

Source: First Day Of Spring 2020 Comes Early : NPR, 

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/817237429/spring-starts-today-all-over-america-which-is-weird

A wrinkle in time in essence … So off to my walk to celebrate Spring!

I heard chimes and children … As I walk up I heard children’s voices in the sacred garden. There was a family having a Chick-fil-A picnic. They wave, but social distance from me.

It was almost 6 PM and when I first started walking. There was still a bit of sun but it was clouding over. The sun created long shadows and a bright green boundaries.

We are in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. I now have a friend who has it and a family member who has self quarantined because he has been exposed. My mother lives in a continuous care facility and it is on lock down. My sister tried to drop off some orchids for her apartment and they would not even let her through the gate to take them to the front desk.

These are really strange times. I think the labyrinth I meets the requirements of social distancing. I am almost always by myself when I walk, as I was today.

The birds were singing at me. And I saw quite a few bees as well… interesting…

I have several friends who are medical doctors or other medical professionals. They have sounded the alarm and raised my awareness. This is serious and until yesterday I did not know of anyone who was had the virus or even had been exposed and now I know both.

The drive from my house in South Park area to Avondale Presbyterian in Dilworth was amazing. I have never seen so many people out walking, whole families with their children, or riding bikes, and in one yard I saw a big set of lawn chairs arranged in the front yard, all quite decidedly apart with the dog in the middle, inviting the neighbors to stop by for a moment. In addition, I saw at least 10 American flags flying. I have not seen so many flags flying other than on the Fourth of July or another federal holiday, since 9/11.

And the azaleas are beginning to pop… Bright pink, pale pink, white, purple.

Spring has sprung … and a wrinkle in time.

3.19.20

2020 Lenten Lists:

Things to do…




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