Category: Nature


A Prayer to Begin

I’m the secret fire in everything, and everything smells like Me. The living breathe My sweet perfume, and they breathe out praise of Me. They never die because I am their Life. I flame out—intense, godly Life—over the shining fields of corn, I glow in the shimmer of the fire’s embers, I burn in the sun and the moon and the stars. The secret Life of Me breathes in the wind and holds all things together soulfully. This is God’s voice. -Hildegard of Bingen ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fiery Spirit, Source of all creative power, Kindle your Holy Spark within me, Breathe into

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Taking Flight

I awoke this morning, on New Year’s Day, with a heart full of hope.  Last year was brimming with new possibilities and the year ahead brings with it so many adventures and invitations to dance on the edges of things, I am absolutely dizzy with anticipation. In a most ordinary moment, I was taking sweet Tune for her morning walk today, when as I returned a flock of pigeons took flight across the street.  A fairly common occurrence in the heart of the city, and yet this morning I had this transcendent moment where I felt myself lifted with them, my breath stopped, heart

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Encountering Coyote

Two weeks ago I shared my journey to the nearby cemetery on a foggy morning as a way of being present to my mother on the anniversary of her death.  One thing I did not share then was my brief encounter with coyote on this walk of remembering, in part because I needed to reflect more on this meeting before speaking of it. Despite the fact that I live in a very urban neighborhood of Seattle I had heard there are coyotes roaming who come from the many green spaces and Arboretum of our beautiful city, but I had never

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Going on Retreat

How necessary it is for monks to work in the fields, in the rain, in the sun, in the mud, in the clay, in the wind: these are our spiritual directors and our novice-masters. They form our contemplation. They instill us with virtue. They make us as stable as the land we live in.  -Thomas Merton On this night of the full moon, I am off for a few days of retreat with my spiritual director Abbess Petunia.  I will be listening to the wind, rain, and sunlight for their sacred whispers.  I will root myself among trees and allow the call of

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Already in our Blood

“I believe that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension that we find paralyzing because we no longer hear our surprised feelings living. Because we are alone with the alien thing that has entered into our self; because everything intimate and accustomed is for an instant taken away; because we stand in the middle of a transition where we cannot remain standing. For this reason the sadness too passes: the new thing in us, the added thing, has entered into our heart, has gone into its inmost chamber and is not even there any more, is already in our

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Abbey Bookshelf: A Dog’s Life

I have loved animals since infancy.  Whereas most children’s first words are “mama” or “dada” I’ve been told many times, mine was clearly “doggie.”  My father used to tell me again and again of the time we went to the zoo when I first learned to talk and pointed at the elephant and squealed “doggie!’  My first toy was a Snoopy doll that I dragged with me everywhere for years until its fur had worn off and its head had to be sewn back on.  At about age five I was convinced I would one day marry Snoopy. Growing up

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