Reflections

Category: Nature

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The Thinnest Veil

Last Saturday I attended a concert of the Seattle Choral Company called “Celtic Nights” which marked the upcoming feast of Samhain on November 1st.  Samhain is the beginning of a new year in Celtic tradition and is primarily a celebration of ancestors and harvest.  It is considered one of the great doorways of the Celtic year which is divided into the seasons of dark and light and is connected to the holidays we may celebrate today — Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day.  The music was sublime and one piece in particular moved me deeply called An Caoineadh, which is

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Fear and Freedom

“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. / I would like to see you living / In better conditions.” -Hafiz “Move from within. / Don’t move the way that fear wants you to. / Begin a foolish project. / Noah did.”  -Rumi    I smiled yesterday when lucy commented about my journey of fearlessness because this subject of fear and freedom has been on my heart a lot lately.  There is something very liberating about living into the freedom I am being invited to and not letting fear dictate the choices I make.  Most of the time I am

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Happy Feast of St Francis

I went back to read what I wrote last year and found that it expresses pretty well what I want to say on this day we celebrate one of my favorite Saints, so here’s a slightly edited and updated version: Francis is known for many things, his life of poverty, his commitment to peace, and especially his great love of animals and all creation. He is often depicted with creatures at his side and this feast day is celebrated with a “Blessing of the Animals.”  I remember attending such a service when we lived in Berkeley with our previous dog Duke.  There in the pews

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What Do I Offer? What Will I Leave Behind?

I walked along the beach yesterday afternoon and discovered brilliant white oyster shells scattered across the sand, tumbled smooth by the waves and brought to shore in an offering from the sea.  I began picking up the ones that seemed to be calling to me, until my hands and pockets were overflowing with treasure. I brought them home, not sure what I wanted to do with them — perhaps put them on my altar that is slowly growing along the windowsill framing my view of the water.  Or maybe use them in some art by incorporating them into a mosaic piece.  But mostly I

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Delight Under a Cloudy Sky

“O shy moon don’t give in to the pushy clouds you are above them” -one of the Haiku read aloud at the end of the evening written by a fellow moon-gazer (I apologize for not catching the name) We attended the Moon Viewing event at the Japanese Garden last night and I was entranced the whole evening despite the fact that the moon never fully appeared from behind the cloud cover.   This is an annual event to celebrate the autumn moon (which will be full on Tuesday).  There was beautiful music (I am now entranced by the koto), dancing, singing, launching

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Holding the Tension

A year ago today, I spent the day holding our beloved dog Duke as we waited for the vet to come over and put him to sleep.  Just a day and a half prior he began to show signs of illness and we discovered he had an aggressive liver cancer that only shows signs when the tumors start to bleed and the animal is near death.  It was a terrible day and also a profoundly holy one as I had the privilege of holding his beautiful body as he passed over from this life into the beyond.  Duke’s death left

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Kinship with Creation

One of the elements of Celtic spirituality that most attracts me is its sense of kinship with all of creation.  I have written here many times about the connections between animals and spirituality.  While I was in Ireland I read several books on Irish history and Celtic spirituality.   In Thomas Cahill’s book How the Irish Saved Civilization, he describes the prayer of  St. Patrick’s breastplate as conveying this simple message: “The universe itself is the Great Sacrament.”  The French Jesuit and scientist Teilhard de Chardin described our interconnection as the “breathing together of all things.” All God’s creatures are theophanies The world is holy and

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