Bright and Bold Summer Peace!

Summer is filled with color. Gardens explode with it. Tables are laden with it. Our clothing is often more vibrant. Skies are blue, grass is green, bodies of water are glistening. And we wear sunglasses so the Sun doesn’t hurt our eyes with its strong rays.

Every season brings something different, something special to Peace. Summer stands for outward manifestations. Have a party, throw a protest. Go OUT and change the world. Pay attention to what Summer is saying.

The color shows us the way to make Peace in the Summer!

Sheets in the Wind! Ah, Summer Peace

There are things that belong to each season. I actually love the sharp scent of Winter, captured in a coat that’s been outdoors. I almost feel I can smell the starlight. And i love the scent of starlight.

In the same way I love sun-dried Summer sheets… or anything… all of outside captured in the threads and making your bed ready for summer dreams.

And looking at what is going on in my world, i need playful Summer dreams to give me hope and encouragement. Peace needs us to be as well and as happy as we can be.

If drying your sheets on the line helps you to Peace, then go for it! I often come down on the side of convenience… but… not always.

Ann’s Summer Swimming Peace

Hello again: Summer, outdoor Pools, and this year, Ann!

It’s been cool since I’ve been cleared to be in the water, or it’s been stormy

I’m not yet allowed to swim… but I am walking and exercising in the pool. Hurrah.

I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s transforming in my life. It’s my happy place. I am both cradled and powerful in a pool… and it’s augmented in an outdoor pool with the sun and the sparkles.

What place gives you this strength and comfort? Seek it more often.

Because if there are places that give us Peace, we need to get to them and often. Because the world needs us to turn around and go out into it and offer Peace to those around us.

 

Short Winter Days, Long Winter Nights, Peace

Wherever you live, however much Sunlight falls or doesn’t on your days, it’s always the right day to make it a day of Peace.

Night is so beautiful. Day is so beautiful. Winter is so beautiful. So are Spring, Summer and Fall. Peace adds its own incredible Beauty.

The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and the Earth bring the days and nights and seasons. We bring the Peace. They’re doing their job. Are we? Now more than ever, we must Peace.

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Peace Is Where We Are

Trish took a wonderful picture that screams end of Summer. The Sunset is a Fall beauty. The family in the boat is a family sneaking in one last, lovely memory of Summer 2016.

Time to take the Summer toys home and put them away. Now it’s cool and rainy — and oh, do we need the rain. We’ve gotten more than an inch in the last two days and two more days of rain planned.  I just had a cozy beginning to a Saturday morning — cuddled up to finish a new mystery. A perfect slow rainy beginning to a busy weekend.

Time to pull out the fall/winter clothes. Time to clear out everything that’s left over from the summer, finish up that last writing and begin the new. My beloved guests are home in their lives, I’ve started cold weather swimming, time to order the velour and get ready for cozy, busy Fall.

Peace may look a little different this month than it did last, but Peace is right here, waiting for us to discover it, to pursue it, to promote it, to make it. Peace of a rainy Autumn morning to you my friends.

And enjoy this last memory of a lovely Summer.

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The Complexity of Peace

Many of you know that I spend the Summer reading in preparation for the next preaching/working year. I pack these slow summer days with all sorts of topics. I do a lot of fluffy reading to balance the serious stuff! But as I said the other day, even those books begin to be read through another lens.

This year I’ve been reading about racism, white privilege, the breakdown of community, migration and immigration. Oh, and just for the hell of it, because I wasn’t overwhelmed enough, modern day slavery. It can be overwhelming. Luckily, I’ve found a couple volumes that celebrate small steps people all over the world are taking to make a difference. This is wildly reassuring, because the analyses I’m reading are pretty overwhelming.

There is much that is wrong. There is too much that is tolerated. I live in a small town and work with a small church. We’re not going to solve any of these problems on a global level. What we may do is chip away at some of them in our own little area. We will not solve poverty, but we may help to stave off hunger for children on weekends until solutions — and we can ask our politicians for better, workable solutions.

In a world where we hear incessantly that the world is falling apart we can be better neighbors. We can form a community that works to support one another and invite others to join us. We can make sure that we open our eyes and hearts to all our neighbors and invite them as we try to stitch together new models for community.

And we can keep getting informed. The problems we face as a nation, as a world, are overwhelming. One of the things that has helped me cope with all this reading is the long drives I’ve been taking between friends who are thinking about issues — some the same, some different.

Before I got on the road for yesterday’s drive, I received the picture for today.  I slowly realized I’d been dumping everything into one big salad bowl and that maybe I needed to spend more time thinking of things separately. When things are all in the same bowl, they don’t get all the attention they’re due. There are many similarities. But there are differences as well. And we must explore all that.

Peace demands that we not gloss over things — if we do, it won’t be Peace, will it?

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The Peace of Watermen and Women

You know me. I’ll wax eloquent all year long about the water. There is no time more special for me than the summer when I’m able to swim outside — I know, you’ve heard me say this often enough — but I like watching water almost as much as I like floating in it.

Its Beauty stills my soul.

But in all my water rapture, I often forget that there are those who make their living, a very hard-working living on the water.

Water is beautiful, but it can be dangerous. It can also just be unpleasant. When the cold wind blows frigid water or the boat is rocking in the tempest, it’s got to be a challenge. And yet this is the work they’ve chosen.

And so often (and lobsters are certainly a lovely case in point), the bounty they bring back is extraordinary.

Water is full of lovely gifts, but it doesn’t always make it easy to retrieve them.

So here’s to the Watermen and women and all they do for us. Here’s to their hard work and generosity. And here’s to the Peace they make with their work and the Water.

And oh, I am so grateful for Summer and the Peace I find in the laps I swim. I am so lucky.

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Sweet, Summer, Sabbath Peace

This weekend may be the first since I started my reading sabbatical that I’m really living the life that’s planned… reading, writing, swimming, summer foods. Not too much more.

It’s such an overwhelming privilege to have this time to just fill up. I fill up with interesting books. I fill up with strength. I fill up with silence. I fill up with summer fruits and veggies.

It’s amazing. It’s necessary, because I’m pretty depleted by the end of the year, but that doesn’t make it less amazing.

I don’t really have time to read during the year, not things of substance — and often I don’t have the brain space to absorb anything that’s not directly related to what’s going on that minute.

I love my job. But I love new ideas as well. I love the people I work with… but it takes me a while to settle into taking in rather than giving out mode… So… oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!

And today. Sorta grey and cloudy. I’d better get my swim in early. I’d better pile a cucumber on some bread. Isn’t life grand? Well, my life is grand. I hope yours is

Sweet Summer Sabbath Peace to you, my friends. I wish you long conversations with friends and quiet times with yourself. And a leisurely swim, or whatever does it for you… Peace. Fill up, so you can give out.

And enjoy dawn in Lewisburg!

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Just a Peaceful Summer Evening

This week there have been wonderful sunsets. I’ve met a couple of them either sitting on a deck or driving home through the long slow sunset into dusk. The evening temperatures have been comfortable after hot, hot, hot days. It was great to sit out on my porch late into the evening.

What a gift.

When you’re offered sweet Peace and lovely evenings, there’s nothing to do but enjoy them. There’s no postponing the joy. It’s here and now and won’t be around later. Life is fleeting. Don’t let it slip buy without your enjoying it!

Me? I’m off to do that very thing. Garden Party, you know! Summer Peace of the day and the evening to you! Every day Peace, Everyday Peace.

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Sunrise, Sabbath, Summer Peace… ah…

Before I start, I have to acknowledge the passing of the extraordinary Elie Wiesel. I am so grateful for what he taught us, his insistence on truth and his grace in the face of human frailty. We were so lucky for his presence among us.

This is one of those posts where I’ll have a hard time keeping the day straight. There was Peace on Saturday and there will be Peace on Sunday. It was Saturday that I was knee deep in the Susquehanna sending 30 paddlers off for a day on the river: The inaugural paddle of our riverkeeper, 22 miles of the Susquehanna on a perfect day in July.

We have one! This is a thing!! She’s in there fighting for our River who cannot fight for herself. The paddlers are all passionate about her mission.

So they had a lovely day, saw some things to be corrected, remembered just how beautiful this river is AND how vital to our lives. I could burble on a long time.

However, today is also going to be a great day. We start off with a hymn sing in an 1800 chapel. It’s got wonderful accoustics and my community loves to sing. Harmony! hurrah. It’s good for the soul.

There is no yard sale today! hurrah, hurrah… Which sounds like I’m not grateful for it, the good it does, the community it builds, and the money it raises, I am, but I’m tired.

So I’ll spend a little time turfing out my house and prepping salad for tomorrow’s yard sale and then… i’ll open the books for my summer sabbatical. and smile! I’ll sit on the porch and read. Maybe I’ll swim.

I’ll remember this Sabbath and keep it holy, that’s for sure. I hope you find something wonderful to do. If your weather is like our weather, it’s going to be a great day! Peace of the summer, Peace of the river, be with you, be with the whole world.

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