Category: Cycles and Seasons


Make friends with sunflowers

Hello beautiful monk friends, I have been relishing my summer sabbath time, savoring the sweetness of so many goodbyes.  When I chose the word “savor” for this year (or more accurately, when it chose me) I had no idea that I would be spending several weeks without a home or car, saying goodbye to many dear friends, and heading off on this adventure.  We are making our way slowly toward Vienna, stopping along the way to spend time with friends and family.  So many moments of unbridled joy tinged with the sadness of letting go.  I am making room for

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“The way is made by walking”

Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the way is made by walking. —Antonio Machado The words above have been a kind of mantra for me in recent years.  As my own spiritual path loosens its grip on plans and certainties and moves more deeply into unknowing and mystery, I am discovering the truth that “there is no road / the way is made by walking.”  Sometimes when I am working with someone in spiritual direction, I hear the longing to know the path God is calling them to, to have some certainty

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A Midwinter God

I love the bare branches of winter trees spread across the muted sky. Those aching arms that have been stripped of encumbrance to reveal the bones. When autumn comes I am dizzy with delight at the release of fluttering jeweled prayer flags settling to the ground to become the compost for next spring’s flowers. There is an excitement I experience at the change of each day’s landscape, a parade of colors, always something new revealed. It can be easy to forget that this is also the heart of dying. Then winter arrives and brings with it an often profound stillness.

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Autumn: The Season of Paradox

The autumn equinox falls on September 23rd this year—a time when the sun rests above the equator, and day and night are divided equally. It heralds a season filled with change, celebrates the harvest, and ushers in the brilliant beauty of death. Autumn is a season of transition, of continual movement. At the heart of autumn’s gifts are these twin energies of relinquishing and harvesting. It is a season of paradox that invites us to consider what we are called to release and surrender, and at the same time it invites us to gather in the harvest, to name and

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Being at Home

I have just returned home to Seattle after two amazing weeks of teaching soul care practitioners how to bring creative expression to their ministries of compassionate presence.  35 spiritual directors gathered in Louisiana and Mississippi for introductory workshops and then another 10 gathered on the shores of beautiful Lake Michgan for our Awakening the Creative Spirit five-day intensive (next one will be May 13-18, 2012 in the Pacific Northwest and they fill up early!)  It is hard to express what a profound privilege it is to be with groups like this, to make safe space for deep inner exploration, to

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Sweet Midsummer Blessings (Abbey Sabbatical)

Watermelon  You know what summer tastes like—the pink flesh of a generous earth, this rounded life fully ripe, fully flavored. How could you be ashamed at the tug of desire? The world has opened itself to you, season after season. What is summer’s sweetness but an invitation to respond? There is only one way to eat a watermelon. Bury your face in the wetness of that rosy slab and bite. -Lynn Ungar from Blessing the Bread  I leave on Monday for two weeks away with my beloved in a warm, breezy place with little internet access and nothing but wide

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Stop by Trust Tending for an interview with me about seasonal wisdom

The lovely Kristin Noelle has created a beautiful new blog called Trust Tending: Reflections, Conversations, and Art to Nourish Life Beyond Fear.  She offers a monthly theme, regular reflections, and these wonderful sketches that are so profound in their simplicity.  This month the theme is nature and she invited me to participate in a written interview with her about the role of the seasons in my own life.  Stop by to see the perfect sketch she created to accompany my words (reminds me a lot of this visual meditation I posted last month) and linger over some reflections by me on

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