Category: Nature


The Lily

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts (photos of avalanche lilies in bloom in the alpine meadows at Mount Rainier from an impromptu and most delightful visit the last couple of days)

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Living Out the New Creation

I have a deep affinity for crows and ravens as they seem to connect two important parts of my life together.  Ravens and crows are a part of the same Corvidae or Crow family with ravens being larger and perferring wilder places. Saint Benedict (whose Feast Day is today) is often depicted with a raven by his side because legend has it that a raven saved him from eating poisoned bread. Special connections and relationships to animals were once a sign of holiness.  Thomas Merton wrote in one of his letters that this is what the monastic life is ideally all about: “the

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Happy Birthday Tune!

I wasn’t planning on posting anything else before our trip but this sweet, beautiful girl turns 10-years old tomorrow and that deserves a mention.  Even though we’ve only had her a few short months, she has already worked her way deep into my heart.  If you missed the story of our rescue of Abbess Petunia, read here and here and here.  I will miss her a great deal while we are away. Thanks so very much for all the beautiful wishes you have left in comments and emails for my upcoming trip– they mean a lot to me! The last few days have been a flurry

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Crossing Borders

My beloved and I went up to Canada for a long weekend retreat together, a time to be still and reconnect.  On Thursday night we made the long trip to Vancouver Island, driving a little way past the village of Sooke.  We had been to Sooke a couple of years ago and I longed to return because of East Sooke Regional Park which for me is tied only with Ruckle Park on Saltspring Island as my two favorite places to hike in this region.  The reason I love these two parks so much is that they both have densely forested trails

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Forty Early Mornings

A New Moon teaches gradualness  and deliberation and how one gives birth  to oneself slowly. Patience with small details  makes perfect a large work, like the universe.  What nine months of attention does for an embryo  forty early mornings will do  for your gradually growing wholeness.  -Rumi Tonight is the New Moon and Wednesday begins the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday. I am feeling especially reflective this weekend, listening for what my spirit needs during this holy season ahead.  What will those forty early mornings do for my gradually growing wholeness?  What possibilities lie dormant in the seeds that are just awakening beneath the ground of my soul? With the New Moon, the sky is swathed in darkness with only the points of light from stars shining in the night.  Watching the moon wax forth from her place of surrender to the beauty

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Burning With Love For All of Creation

I wrote a few days ago about discovering the theologian Andrew Linzey in an article I was reading.  I was so thrilled to discover someone writing seriously about the place of animals in Christian tradition and spiritual practice that I ordered three of his books: Animal Gospel, Animal Theology, and Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care The last of these three contains liturgies for celebrating creatures, healing of animals, a covenanting service with animals, a Eucharistic prayer for all creatures, a vigil for the suffering of all creatures, litanies for animal protection, blessings, burial services and memorials.  I am moved beyond

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I Am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic

I am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic  Today I am pulling on a green wool sweater and walking across the park in a dusky snowfall. The trees stand like twenty-seven prophets in a field, each a station in a pilgrimage–silent, pondering. Blue flakes of light falling across their bodies are the ciphers of a secret, an occultation. I will examine their leaves as pages in a text and consider the bookish pigeons, students of winter. I will kneel on the track of a vanquished squirrel and stare into a blank pond for the figure of Sophia. I shall begin

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