Reflections

Category: Nature

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Taking Flight

As I began this year I had an encounter with a flock of pigeons which lifted my heart unexpectedly and then I found a feather on my doorstep.  And so “Taking Flight” became my image for the year ahead.  On my recent pilgrimage, winged ones – both avian and angelic – were significant symbols for me, appearing to me constantly during my travels and reminding me of that heart-transcending moment months before. The crow in particular became significant.  I have always loved these black “glossy and rowdy” creatures, and since moving to Seattle over six years ago I have become

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The Four Directions

“The perceptions that the cardinal points have distinct qualities that can be called forth to shape the outcome of human effort has been common to societies throughout history. . . “But for those humans who do see the sun rise from the darkened bed of the earth in the East as they arise from their own bed, and who can call that rising morning, dawning, ascending, arising, and for those who see the sun set in the opposite horizon, having had the sun as their companion throughout the labors of their day, we see the cooling sun return to its

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Sacred Mountain

The great, gashed, half-naked mountain is another of God’s saints. There is no other like him. He is alone in his own character; nothing else in the world ever did or ever will imitate God in quite the same way. That is his sanctity. -Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation These mountains — Mount Baker and the Sisters and Shuksan, the Canadian Coastal Range and the Olympics on the peninsula — are surely the edge of the known and comprehended world…. That they bear their own unimaginable masses and weathers aloft, holding them up in the sky for anyone to

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Notes from the Abbess

The other day I posted about the great autumn to be found in the midst of spring.  We are constantly immersed in the rising and falling of our lives, as close as our own breath.  Tune, aka Abbess Petunia (or more commonly, “The Abbess”), will be turning twelve in June. We have had her for nearly two and a half years and what a treasure she continues to be. When we adopted her we thought if all we do is give her the best retirement, then that is enough (after spending her life neglected in a breeding kennel).  She is my

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In the Midst of Spring . . .

 . . . there is also a Great Autumn. What is being released within you to make way for summer’s fruit? © Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts: Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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Life is the only way

A Note Life is the only way to get covered in leaves, catch your breath on the sand, rise on wings; to be a dog, or stroke its warm fur; to tell pain from everything it’s not; to squeeze inside events, dawdle in views, to seek the least of all possible mistakes. An extraordinary chance to remember for a moment a conversation held with the lamp switched off; and if only once to stumble upon a stone, end up soaked in one downpour or another, mislay your keys in the grass; and to follow a spark on the wind with

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Depths of the Divine Fecundity

There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. The mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all, Natura naturans. There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribeable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the Gift of my Creator’s Thought and Art within me, speaking

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