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Archive for November, 2011

I’ve chosen a new banner to head up my 2012 Napkinwriter blog. It is the photo of what I call “Phases of Woman” that I have had a copy of since I saw a large print of it on the wall of an Assisted Care Facility back in the late 1980s. I was looking for what might be the eventual place my mother would reside in to take care of her growing loss of cognition needs.

This large print on the wall impacted me deeply when I saw it. The place I saw it was not the place we chose for mom, but somehow I obtained a small print of it and have kept it on my writer table ever since. I bring it into the writing, spirituality and feminine realization workshops I facilitate also.

I believe we have all of these phases of woman in us at all time. The young child has in someway the grown up and the wisdom elder in her before she ever reaches those ages in her real life. The grown up woman reaches for the wisdom of the elder within her during trying times and responsibilities of mid-life. And the lovely elder has the playfulness of the young child ever within her. She also remembers the turning points of changed beliefs and actions of her middle-age self that made all the difference in her own life and how she lives it today.

This is coming up for me again because as I pack, I come across my  Skidmore Writing Journals from my years of attending IWWG’s (International Womens Writer Conferences) in the summers of 1990s into 2001.  Those were years of momentous change for me and some really tough emotional sledding.

Yet, I open these journals, mere spiral notebooks, and bits and pieces of thoughts, “seeds”,  and writing instructions like…..”use an image to….” “write about where you live and who you know”….write about the bag lady at McDonald’s”… pop out at me.

Little unfinished thoughts — “possibilities” — lay scrawled across the page, like a dim light going on within…”You have the power to manifest what you want.” What? I think I am just learning this now, and here is the thought in a 1994 journal.

Another page….the words, “the power of choice” makes all the difference. The lesson of Victor Frankle, who taught us from Auchwitz Nazi camp days that “It’s not what ‘they’ do to you but it’s about what I think about what they do to me.” How many times that lesson has reappeared in my life in different circumstances, different settings through my “grown-up” years into my now here “wisdom years.”

And yes, now, I do claim that lady of wisdom. Once again I lug my heavy journals with me in our move, for I have not yet harvested all the shining wheat they contain that comes from fields in life I have sowed lovingly, tended carefully and repaired from the storms.  I look forward to the harvest!

There are two rather huge things for me these days that I am trying to get my head around and fit into a container of thought. These are: 1) Somehow, we are all one. and 2) Somehow time (past, present and future) are all happening at the same time and I am in the middle of it all, mostly trying to learn my best how to just live in the present. 

I don’t know if I will ever truly understand either of these, but I think they are true. And reading journals just strengthens those beliefs in me, for I know that some of the things I discover I have written on paper in the past, have somehow shaped my future and directed my paths long before I knew the truth of the thought.

I was hoping the woman photo would work as a banner for Napkinwriter, as I will be offering up what is precious to me from these journals in next year’s writings. Actually, I won’t even wait until next year.

The next post will be about what I wrote in 1994 about choices and an 84 year old workshop leader at Skidmore who inspired me. She not only inspired me beyond words, but to find my own words essential stories and get them on the waiting page.

Her name was Dr. Benji Brooks, and she was a pediatric surgeon, who along the way in her medical career probably saved countless lives. She taught workshops so “I could do something of significance in this world before I die” she said one day in class. It struck me as a most humble statement and obviously her choices revolved around the good of humankind.

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I have not been writing every morning or evening in my Soul Writing Journal and I do miss the special time of aloneness and quiet and Presence I am aware of when I do take the time to do it. Last night, my journal was open to two empty pages. I lit my candle, took my seat and answered the invitation to communicate.

(right side of the page, my turn to write)
Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011 

Dear God, Whole & Holy One

I will not write in this special place for much longer but I will continue to write in my Soul Pages in the new home you have brought to us. I am feeling a feeling within me of wanting to drag my feet on the ending of this year. A fear, maybe, that things will change in the new year and I won’t feel so connected to you and real about your Presence. I have made myself READY. I Am Ready. I have listened to you and prepared myself to have your Love and Goodness overflow into Tom’s and my life. To demonstrate the Principle of Love behind money, as I have studied. To flourish in good health and take loving care of myself and Tom and to go into the world with the service of your healing and Love in Reiki. I will love 2012 as I do this.

(Left side of Page — my turn to listen and write what I hear.)  

Dear Sue,

Be still and know that I Am God. You have been faithful. I Am always here in the quiet. You are living now in the questions –  that is what you are uncomfortable with. But you are much more comfortable with your Spirit than you ever have been. You are aware it requires courage and honesty and you are gaining in both. You are opening yourself to the Spirit world, particularly help from the Spirit world and communication with ancestors — you are only beginning. I will show the way — show you how it works.

You think you love your new home and you do. But what you really love and are pausing to soak it up each time you are there is the Love I have already placed there. That is Me. That is where your house came from and where you will dwell. Remember the Word: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord all my days.” Dwell in Me.

Words pre-printed on this page: From Hafiz, mystic poet: ”

All your pain, worry, sorrow
Will someday apologize and confess
They were a great lie.”

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Mary of the Cosmos  is an original Icon written by Sr. Bernadette Bostwick based on the ancient image of “Our Lady of the Sign.”  

This image of Mary of the Cosmos celebrates the beauty of our embodiment and the sacredness and holiness of all matter in the cosmos. 

In this Icon, the universe is flowing through Mary, (mother, matter, mater) whose body is made of the star stuff of the cosmos.

  In her Iconoclastic form with Earth at her center, the planet becomes the birthing bed of Jesus.

The Mother of love and compassion looks out to us with outstretched arms inviting us to become life bearers for the planet.

In 1999, along with Sr. Gail and Father Thomas Berry, a Passionist priest, Sr. Bernadette, embarked on the co-founding of Green Mt Monastery, in Greensboro Vermont. Fr. Thomas was a leading cultural historian, sage, and spiritual Master.

Thomas evolved from his academic beginning as a cultural historian to become a historian of Earth. He saw himself not as a theologian but as a “geologian.”  For more than 40 years, Thomas worked at developing a comprehensive vision of a viable future for the Earth Community.

He was president of the American Teilhard Association for ten years in the 1970′s and was indebted to the thought of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin for helping shape his own understanding of the universe story.

Thomas Berry was foundational in guiding and co-founding Green Mountain Monastery. “There is need of a profound re-assessment of our religious situation, our Christian Tradition, our human mode of presence to Earth and all living beings-” he wrote in one of his many writings. He chose Green Mountain Monastery as his final resting place. He died in June 2009.

His spirituality and work on the community of Earth is carried on in the works of Sisters Gail and Bernadette through their prayers, art, care of their monastery lands and their studies and work of their hands and their hearts on the planetary level for the benefit of humankind.

 “Art has always been my passion,” says Sr. Bernadette.  “And after graduation, I had the privledge of working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. My time at the MET was a wonderful opportunity to be steeped in the world of the great artists of history and cultivate my own artistic skills which I have used in several businesses of my own including a full service advertising agency, and a house painting business specializing in historical restoration.”

They credit Thomas with a sweeping vision of history and helped us situate ourselves within the comprehensive context of an unfolding universe.

Stating that her life is like a multifaceted fine gem, Bernadette says she is presently passionate about breaking open ancient images of the Christian Tradition through Iconography; Mary of the Cosmos is one such image that has been published in several volumes.

She is dedicated to the unfolding of Green Mountain Monastery and the deepening of Christ consciousness within herself and with others.

From my own miniscule view of things, I see Advent is here on our Church calendar and along with the general theme of …….mankind waiting……waiting…..waiting……. this season always brings multiple invitations to query into the mystery of Mary.

 Just on the small human plane, that is an enormous spiritual adventure. Now just think of it as a cosmic spiritual exercise and four short weeks before Christmas arrives is hardly enough timeto catch a glimpse of that mystery! 

Cards and Images of Mary of the Cosmos are available at their website.   http://www.greenmountainmonastery.org/mary-of-the-cosmos/

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Deer:  “Is turkey being served?”
 Cat: “Pies are not done yet. Come back later.”

This photo was on the internet. It is too darn cute! And the cat looks exactly like my daughter Laura’s Pepper.  Four year old Amy would have been one excited girl if she had seen this at her home. The deer do come right up to the shrubs and I wouldn’t doubt if they have been on their deck. Pepper always has a look-out spot right there by the sliding-glass door.

Let’s get this post going!  I tried to do this post earlier in the day and I could not get a photo set-in, so I left it for a bit, tried again and then the text was garbled up. So here is my third try.

Napkinwriter has not posted her usual schedule in November but I will get back to it. I have written over 100 posts now since I started twelve months ago and this has been a very fun thing to do. It is actually a cornerstone of the other writings I do and that is a good thing.

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving Day, Napkinwriter was not writing on her napkin, but using it at the beautifully set table and Thanksgiving feast Laura and Kathleen prepared for the family. A gathering of gratefulness, high spirits, really high energy from the youngest in the crowd, and very pleased palates from the rest of us.

You don’t have to look far for your blessings in life when they surround you on a day like this. Our loved ones in good health and plentitude in life, educational growth in the soon-t0-be- college, high school, and elementary school bound in a few years. Life across the spectrum. Grandma, grandpa, (us) daughters & sons-in-law, (moms and dads to others) and grandchildren.  Blessings and talents given to each of us and in grateful return, enlarged upon by us and given to others in someway.

My present moment is overflowing with bountiful goodness. We have all of what I described above, plus a new home we are moving into which feels completely like the dwelling place we are to be in.  There have been other moments in my life which were either tainted by regret of the past, or filled with fear of the future, or just plain confusing at best. The answer to all these moments was to learn how to live in the present moment — now.

That’s what I’m doing. And I find, along with the constant gratitude that fills my being, I also am a little—stunned. As in “moved to inaction.”

Stunned by the goodness. That seems so peculiar to me. I’ve always — most always– had faith in the good, believed in the good, and experienced lots of good….but right now I am caught up in longer moments of reflection of goodness filling and surrounding me where ever I go, what ever I’m doing.

I haven’t had writer’s block, but I haven’t been able to post this blog, not only because my daily patterns are somewhat upended by the “moving thing” again…..and I have lots of things I want to write about…but I am just a little “stopped in my tracks”.  And I never come to the computer to do a Napkinwriter until I hear it begin its lead in my head. As soon as I finish this, I will be boxing up another part of the house to move.

Last year, I had trouble separating from the townhome we were in, and especially my writing space, to move here and I wrote a few blogs on that. This move is a very joyful move and while I had to take some time and do some “inside work” to accept and adjust to this townhome, I did it and have come to love the time,  the journal writing, the computer communications and prayer I’ve done in my creative room here. I will put a special blessing on it before I leave it for good.

Goodness in the present moment helps me draw nearer to my Faith going forward. God’s Presence, always and everywhere, is not forced upon us. The Faith I live today requires a daily response on my part,  and just what is that response? Gratitude is a great door-opener and the Thanksgiving season starts us off with that.

But this Faith, like a gift, cannot be squandered nor hidden. It needs to be shared and experienced openly in kind and loving relationship with others, starting in family and building out to others. It includes my relationship with God, which I keep alive in prayer practice and actions.

Christmas is my Faith tradition to prepare for and celebrate — beginning with innocent, open, unconditional, and childlike trust in God — the Creator and Giver of all life.

As the New Year comes toward us, and my birthday the day after, I get the 1-2 opportunity to remember to have child-like trust in the power of love as God — right here and right now.

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Since the end of the first year of Napkinwriter is coming quickly to a close, I’ve been categorizing the stories I’ve written over the year and I am considering putting them in a hard-bound book form for this year’s stories.

I found this one, originally written in late March, after several posts which lamented the move we were making from our first condo-townhome to the one we are in now. I am re-posting it, as we are about to close on our newly beloved home, because it seems to me, life indeed reads like a book!  —

March 23, 2011

I picked up two paperback books last week, spur of the moment. It was just time to read some fiction, non-recommended nor even heard about. I love to choose paperbacks just by their cover illustration and the little bit that is written about the book in the introductory pages and the back cover. When my own books are published, I am going to be very fussy and intuitive about what should be on these parts of my own books. 

I selected, “Sandcastles” by Luanne Rice. I was attracted by the blues and lavenders  in the sky and hints of pink coral on the early evening beach. I could hear the waves roll in with the tide which left the foamy white edge to the sea. And the beautiful young woman, with the long white beach dress and straw hat, was walking along the star-reflected beach with the most exquisite slim figure I had always wanted to have in my own life.

So much for the cover. I knew I’d like the book, and I’d looked far enough into the pages to know it wove a story about Irish generations and secrets brought forward to touch the lives of her characters. I wasn’t disappointed in the book at all. It had merit and depth and romance with no easy solutions to the problems encountered along the way. A page turner any author attempts to sculp into her/his story….that if you have to leave the book for a short while, say perhaps to carry on with your own life, you know you won’t be away from it for long. Except…..for when you get to that one certain part which I will talk about later.

The second book was written by Susan Richards, who holds a master of social work degree, works in the addiction recovery field and teaches writing…and she holds that perennial undergraduate degree in English that naysayers have much to naysay about. I mainly picked this book because of that description of the author, but also because there was a picture of a horse on the front cover and the word, horse, in the title. “Chosen by a Horse”, how a broken horse fixed a broken heart.

It was a brave and honest memoir of how this woman, in her forties, added an abused horse to her stable of three others. It is a touching tale of how the woman had protected herself and come to terms with an abusive childhood without her own mother and how this horse, through its open acceptance and trust of her after she had nearly been killed by humans, helped her heal and open to the possibilities the would arise in the rest of her life.

It was a faster read than the other, helped along with a sense of humor that takes some of the bang out of the worst bounces in life.

In both books, I noticed where I started to drag my reading out. This is the part of books I wanted to talk about.

I’d gotten through the mysteries that lay in the history or the current actions of the main characters, what I didn’t know was going to happen…had happened; where I had guessed wrong had been corrected by the author’s pen and understanding of her story….and the story was winding down. And I knew that. So I started reading shorter sections and leaving the book down for a longer period of time in between readings (not really very long though because I was truly engaged in both books).

I had to leave the book down to keep the story going for me. The final pages were approaching quickly and then it would be over.  How I hate to part with my characters.  What power the author has when I really don’t want to leave their world, but when their words stop, I have no choice but to leave or revisit the same story, which I also do. Then I want to give it to someone to read, but I don’t want to part with my book.

My life now feels like the slow-down part of a good novel for me. I have a bevy of characters and lots of short stories that make up my life. I have losses, dramas, but also the joys and graces of a life I am grateful to have lived. Now I just want it to slow down somewhat…..drag on a bit. I’m not in as much of a hurry. Multi-tasking holds no thrill for me now.

I just truly enjoy doing what I do for as long as it takes me to do it. I have lived my life as a “we” for the greater part, marrying right out of college, and family becoming the hub of the wheel of a blessed, yet adventuresome life. Now as family expands into the grandchildren generation, Tom and I continue to create intentions and plans for the “we-ness” we will share into our seventh decade of life.

Keeping our bodies in the best physical shape we can is high on the priority list and good nutrition and exercise and movement and spiritual centerness give us the zest for “apple pie in the sky high hopes” but we are slower…no doubt about it.  Just like reading a good book, we also want to stretch this experience out to seem like it’s taking more time than it actually is.

Also with a book, I have always been tempted when really challenged by the intensity of the plot, to “peek ahead” and be sure it is going to be ok. Most of the times, I’ve been able to overcome this and not spoil it for myself, but on occasion, I confess, I’ve skipped some pages and returned later.

Right now in my life is the time I used to want to “page forward” to during years past when confronted by my own misadventures or messes that I was not sure were going to right themselves. I wanted to know how it was all going to turn out, how we would be at this time now. But see, I wanted to know too soon. I had to live the pages in between then and now.

What it feels like now is we are going to get a chance for a real-life sequel. Our plots have played themselves out, our family is raised, and we are in an ideal relationship in the family nucleus, interrelating in a most satisfying way. I understand that this is not always the way it turns out, but it turned out this way for us.

Now, Tom and I are sequel-bound.  Hummm, let’s look at the bookshelf once again.

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This is my framed butterfly art poster that hangs above my writing desk. It has moved with me to our many abodes and usually found its honored space in my creative room.

I saw this poster in a PBS Signals catalogue long ago and yearned after it in many issues before I plunked down the change and made it my own. These letter formations are actually contained in the real wings of butterflies and the poster is great for up-close brief or lengthy meditations!

I think of the absolute grace and privilege any of us have to create a word that soothes, inspires, warns, captures, embellishes or sends another’s imagination soaring, just by using these shaped letters.

I think of the hours of peace, even during writer’s block, I may count up on my yearly calendars, that still thrill me when I come across a piece I had written long ago. I can hold the paper and bring myself back to the exact moment and feeling I had at the time of its creation.

I think of the power, grace and beauty of the butterfly’s wings and truly our own words need to possess the same.

I think of the courage of the caterpillar in the darkness before it knew (maybe it always knew) what its creation would be, but it kept on doing what it was to do……..the same as a writer often does.

I think of flight and presence….for who can ignore the butterfly, no matter how busy one is. Words have flight and take up presence in the souls and hearts of others. How beautiful, then, are words powered with love and intention.

How fragile, both butterflies and words,…once released, neither can retract into the cocoon, nor the unspoken or unwritten world…so how sacred are both.

How bright and shiny, wondrous and brief is the flight of the butterfly and the reading of a word, yet both possess the power of eternity in our memory.

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A little dittie (not about Jack and Diane) but about Tom and Sue. We have the very good news that we are about to close the deal on a new little home for ourselves…..again.

I got to thinking about “dwelling place” and how many of them we have had in our married lives….and sometimes how we had two, as we were trying hard to sell one. This time we are going from a rented townhome into a home newly built in a subdivision that is just building up. The location is great for us and this has come upon our horizon in a hurry.

We have rented for 3 years since returning to Kalamazoo from North Carolina and the rental experience has not been the best. We kept open to a better situation and behold, one appeared. Here is my little dittie about Tom and Sue, two “American kids” in the mid-west heartland. Only unlike Jack and Diane in the 70s tune, we say:

Oh yeah life goes on…… but not long after the thrill of livin’ is gone,  (for it’s still here) AND we are grateful for each new day of living!

When we were married in 1965 in Lansing Michigan,  I moved from my parent’s home to our first 1 bedroom furnished apartment in Lexington Kentucky. Just short of one year later, we moved to a rented duplex and welcomed our first daughter, Laura into our family.

About a year and one-half later, we moved into our newly built 3 bedroom ranch on Sandra Court and grew up with the other families growing up in the new homes in that neighborhood. Daughter Kathleen came home from the hospital to that home and enjoyed many playmates in that neighborhood.

In 1976, we moved from Kentucky to Elmwood Park Illinois, where we rented a home for a short while until the landlady took exception to our nice cat, and in short order Tom found an apartment we rented for the next year.

Then we moved in June 1977 to the southwest part of Michigan where we owned and operated a country golf course outside the small town of Gobles, where both our daughters completed High School and went off to college. We lived in an old, rather forlorn, home on the course and had lots more adventures than your average entepreneurs there.

When we left the golf course eight years later, we rented a country home about a mile away at the base of a downhill ski resort. Since Tom and I now had jobs going in two different directions, the biggest disruption of this move was that Kathleen needed to “borrow” Laura’s newly gained “grey-goose” Toyota from her Uncle Joe to get to high school and back, since we were just outside the school district lines. This was not a good thing to Laura, who looked forward to having her car on Ferris State Campus her sophomore year.

Next, we bought another country home closer to the Plainwell area. The girls never called this their home because they were away at college, but we had the delightful holidays where the returning family made things so fun and special. Kathleen actually graduated college and got married while we lived in this home. But Laura had some post-grad to complete in her Optometry studies, so when she graduated and we were still in this home, she returned to become a renter of “her’s and her sister’s” room because she traveled between Optometry offices in the area.

Then she found her first love of a home, and moved out. We were truly “empty-nesters” for the first time. But were we through finding dwelling places? No.

Within a couple years, Tom thought a move into a condo in Otsego, would take off 20 minutes of his daily grind up to Holland, and we did that. Now we had a granddaughter who came to visit us on weekends when her parents were involved giving Marriage Encounter weekends. She was joined by her younger brother, and we again had wondrous Christmas and Easter and birthday celebrations there.

Within a short time though, Tom’s employment changed and he went to a company in Grand Rapids, followed within a year of being down-sized and going into contract business for himself.

His main client took him to Hickory, North Carolina, so I followed too. While in North Carolina for the next five years, we started 3 fitness franchise businesses, rented two apartments, bought one home, then finished business and returned to Michigan in 2008.

Since returning, we rented one condo townhome, left to move into another more economical townhome,  yet it has never quite seemed “our place.”

This brings us to our new home which we will close on this week. We sincerely see deep roots growing beneath this home and its being everything we need it to be for our “dwelling place” as we age– but more appropriately as we grow — and give thanks for this thing called LIFE!

So I went back and counted. I got 15 dwelling places in 46 years since 1965. Now, I’m tired!

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I recently finished a telecourse on the miraculous connection you can make in “an intersection” that transforms and enlarges all the benefits you derive from uniting your spiritual practices with your creative practices. While this seems rather mystical and magical in approach, and it is that — the course also contained all the hard-facts and details of what it takes to put full effort into your own creation and bring it forth into the world and to other people!

Janet Conner, the creator of this course and author of “Writing Down Your Soul” and it’s companion journal, “Your Soul Pages”  (www.writingdownyoursoul.com) began each lesson of the Intersection for Writers with a special writing from Daniel Ladinsky, who has many published books out on the translation of mystical poet Hafiz, for our class: 

                        “I would like to remove some rocks from 
                          your field so that you can plant more wheat.

                        ….then an orchard you can grow….
                            then the world will come to taste
                             your riches.” 

All of us in the course came to enjoy hearing those words pour over us each week and they bolstered up each of our unique projects and fueled us with the inspiration to keep on tending our field of creativity, for what we truly want is that we will find our way through the marketing and sales maze sucessfully so other people will be able

to taste our riches.”

I have discovered that some of life’s creativity and spiritual artists actually use their very own fields and meadows as a place where we can taste their riches and the richness of Source, Itself.

Although I have never visited Green Mountain Monastery and the Thomas Berry Sanctuary, my heart draws me to it and perhaps I may one day be blessed enough to walk its grounds.

A virtual tour of their website and the explanation of their mission and purpose is enough to know they are the makers of Holy Ground. The kind of ground our Mother Earth is so much in need of. In speaking of their mission, they state:

“We are a new monastery in the Catholic Tradition with an original founding impulse that has gathered its inspiration from our mentor and co-founder, the late Fr Thomas Berry; monk, scholar, and cultural historian.

The integration of the story of the Universe with our deep Christic roots shapes our monastic expression for the 21st century.

Rooted in the evolving lineage of this tradition as it has unfolded through its major “Moments of Grace,”  (Desert, Community, Mendicant, Intellectual, Activist….) we seek to awaken to the fullness of Christ Consciousness at this new moment, the Cosmological/Planetary in order to become radiant expressions of Love in Action for the sake of the Whole.”

Their consciousness of land, infilled with the Spirit of All, is deeply rooted not only in the very ground they walk, but in their hearts and souls as well.

Sanc-tu-ary

  • a sacred place
  • the holiest part of a sacred place
  • a place of refuge and safety
  • a wild place

We consider our 160 acres of fields and boreal forest, wildlife and running streams, birds and wildflowers and the entire community of life here in this place to be the Thomas Berry Sanctuary.”

 In his paper, The Wild and the Sacred, Thomas wrote:

This we need to know: how to participate creatively in the wildness of the world about us. For it is out of the wild depths of the universe and of our own being that the greater visions must come.

“Thomas Berry, at his request was buried on our land on June 8, 2009 and we are deeply honored to be the place of his final rest.”

“The meadow was chosen as his burial site because it was the deep archetype of the Meadow, (which represented the entire Earth Community) that Thomas carried with him throughout his life. His religious orientation, it seems to us, had its origin in the deep Mystery of the Meadow, where he experienced Earth as the primary revelation of the Divine.”

“The Meadow also influenced his intellectual life and became the norm for his entire range of thinking. Whatever preserved the Meadow was good, whatever opposed the Meadow was not.”

As a boy of eleven years old, Thomas Berry caught his first view of the lilies blooming in the Meadow across the Creek and dedicated his life to this vision.

Thomas understood the exquisite presence of the Meadow’s diverse members to one another, each reflecting the numinous mystery that fills the Universe.

Thomas Berry recalled, in his writing, the profound effect coming upon the meadow covered in white lilies had upon him at that young age:

Although the Meadow has none of the immensity or grandeur of other places, still in this little Meadow the magnificence of life as celebration is manifested in a manner as profound and impressive as any other place I have known in these past many years.”

http://www.greenmountainmonastery.org/the-meadow-thomas-berry-burial-site/ 

     For a beautiful, musical visit to the Meadow, go to the website above and play the recording: In This Holy Place.

I am going to bring some of that Holy Place into my home for the Christmas season by ordering one of their Balsam Christmas Wreaths.  

From Green Mountain Website:

Freshness of the Forest

Posted November 4, 2011

We are entering into our Christmas Wreath Making season.  The fragrance of Balsam fills the air and we honor the gift of our Forest Beloved.   Consider purchasing a wreath from us this year!Our beautifully fragrant  balsam wreaths are hand harvested from our evergreen forest in Vermont.

Wreath Size:  20 inches with bow and pine cones

Cost: $25 plus shipping

To Order: send an e mail to:  greenmountainmonastery@together.net

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There are two more (at least) marvelous stories to be heard about Green Mountain Monastery and those are the stories of Sisters Gail and Bernadette, which are coming soon.

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