Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:


Category: Cycles and Seasons


Endings and Beginnings

Yesterday my sweet husband started back to work.  It was faculty meeting day and today he gets to meet all of his students.  I am always a bit sad at the end of summer–we get to spend so much time together and he truly is my best friend so we have a lot of fun, a lot of time to play and be.  This summer felt especially rich with treasures to explore together.  He really enjoys his work, the school where he teaches, his students, his co-workers, but it is hard to transition back to waking at six a.m. while I roll over

Read More

Another thought on time. . .

  One other thought that occurred to me about clocks and time is the shift we have had to use of digital clocks.  Pretty much every clock in my home is digital, reading out those numbers in their glowing faces. What we lose with the shift away from analog clocks is a sense of the circular nature of time, the cycles and rhythms we participate in, and the relationship of the time of day to the rest of the day as a whole. I think I am going to buy myself an analog clock to put in my prayer corner and

Read More


Tomorrow is the feast of Beltane, the first day of summer according to the Celtic calendar.  Like its sister feast of Samhain on November 1st, it is a time when the boundary between this world and the Other world is believed to be especially thin.  It is also a time of lighting bonfires for rituals of purification and bringing livestock out to summer pastures.  I find the Celtic dates for marking seasons make more sense to me, by the Solstice we have already reached the longest day and then we begin the slow turn back to darkness.  I realize some of you are just

Read More

Groundhog Day

Celebrate this unlikely oracle, this ball of fat and fur, whom we so mysteriously endow with the power to predict spring. Let’s hear it for the improbable heroes who, frightened at their own shadows, nonetheless unwittingly work miracles. Why shouldn’t we believe this peculiar rodent holds power over sun and seasons in his stubby paw? Who says that God is all grandeur and glory? Unnoticed in the earth, worms are busily, brainlessly, tilling the soil. Field mice, all unthinking, have scattered seeds that will take root and grow. Grape hyacinths, against all reason, have been holding up green shoots beneath

Read More


Listen. Can you hear it? Can you hear the gentle quickening beneath the earth? Tomorrow on February 2nd is the feast of Imbolc, Candlemas, the feast of St. Bridget, and Groundhog Day.  It is a cross-quarter day meaning it is the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox.  The sun marks the four Quarter Days of the year (the Solstices and Equinoxes) and the midpoints are the cross-quarter days.  In some cultures this is the official beginning of spring. As the days slowly lengthen and the sun makes her way higher in the sky, the ground beneath our

Read More

Gifts of the Winter God

My teaching days were filled with good energy and a sense of exploration.  I love teaching this program and the women who participate so freely and joyfully.  The focus of this session was visual art and the first day we explored “gush art” and art journaling methods, using clay and drawing materials in a free and spontaneous way to express what is stirring inside of us.  The second day we focused on images of God and “letting God out of the box” and making a triptych (out of a shoebox) and collage materials to create an altar for the sacred images that

Read More

Winter Solstice

I discovered this wonderful reflection by Ron Rolheiser at Antony’s blog: Coming to the Quiet. During my last years of seminary training, I attended a series of lectures given by a prominent Polish psychologist, Casmir Dabrowski, teaching at the time at the University of Alberta. He had written a number of books around a concept he called “positive disintegration.” Positive disintegration. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Isn’t disintegration the opposite of growth and happiness? It would seem not. A canon of wisdom drawn from the scriptures of all the major world religions, mystical literature, philosophy, psychology, and human experience tells us that the journey to

Read More