Peace and Industrious Beauty

Who knew? There are about 5,000 kinds of dragonflies and damselflies identified. For their names alone they’re worth celebrating. They’re ancient, ancient, ancient. Damselflies are on every continent but Antarctica!

They zoom around and we’re enchanted. I’m not sure why this bug is better than other bugs… but they has been depicted as early as cave art!

Probably for no other reason than that they’re beautiful.

But we see the dragonflies glint (they’re far the showier of the two) as they flit and forget to notice how busy they are. They’re very effective predators.

Wow, Ann’s learning a lot about bugs (in very little doses!)

Here’s to the Peace of Industrious Beauty! May we clothe ourselves in Beauty as we go about the business of Peace.



Find the Peace: Right Here and Now

Tiny little pieces of Peace can be right in front of us. It’s our job to recognize them. The Beauty that exists in our world is an invitation to notice and share the wonder.

There’s a moment of Peace for us when we notice the wonder. There’s another when it’s shared. In that mutual moment, there is Peace between people. We need to look more widely and more deeply to find the Beauty and the Wonder and appreciate it. We need to share what we notice others. How is it that we don’t do more of this? We are built to be amazed. It might be healthy to keep stretching our capacity for Wonder at the glories of this World.

Natural Beauty is free for the gasping! Created Beauty may not be free but should be shared as widely as possible.

Practice Wonder. It’s practicing Peace. It may be its most important spiritual discipline.


Pause in Peace

I don’t do this often enough. I suspect you don’t either.

I don’t go outside and just sit in the beauty. It’s important to do that occasionally.

To breathe in the Beauty of the Earth and its Peace.

To breathe in the Quiet and its calm.

To still our souls and minds so we can hear our thoughts and emotions.

To recognize Peace and to sink into it.

Peace be with you.

Fog and Peace

Fog is an interesting and sneaky things. It has so many ways of arriving.

Here it arrived by stealth, sneaking in to wrap its arms around Picasso as its referred to.

It’s beautiful, it’s gentle. It can be dangerous — hiding things from view. But as my friend Alexandria used to say: When it’s so foggy on the path you can’t see what’s going on, sit down; cover up; wait for the fog to pass.

Its gentleness can invoke Peace. But the fact that it obscures means that sometimes, we all need to sit down; cover up; and wait for the fog to pass. And maybe, while we’re waiting, to share the snacks in our packs. Cup of tea, anyone?

Dawn Beauty; Dawn Peace

You have to get up pretty early in the morning: in fact in this region, you would have had to get up at 5:47 this morning, to have a chance to see the sun guild the bridge — if it were sunny then.

I’m never excited about dawn, unless i’m up… then I’m transformed as the light blesses the day.

Whether we see the dawn, we would do well to get up blessing the day and its Beauty. It makes it so much easier to go about the business of Peace.

Peaceful Country Drives

We didn’t do a lot, when I was growing up, but it was definitely a thing. On Saturday or a Sunday, you’d get in the car and drive and see things. You’d get out, walk around, take a good look, (if there were a stream dip some part of your body in), and get back in the car.

Some people had families they paid a visit to; our family lived far apart. We had falls and lakes and creeks. This barn would have pleased us… our family was a large admirer of barns. We were big on clouds as well. “will you look at that… ” I’m sure I’ve written this before, but one of my parents’ nurse companions said she’d never noticed the clouds before working for Betty and Sam!

Barns were another thing. My brother-in-law, after a joint trip with my parents, wondered if for the rest of his lives he was going to have to admire (expletive) barns in fields? Because he couldn’t quite see the romance. Philistine!

I think family drives were one of the ways I learned to see and be connected to Nature. I am not an outside girl by choice. waaaah, can’t i bring a book? but I am a used to looking at, admiring, and remarking upon Nature, her composition and her Beauty. I know that I’m back in the Susquehanna Valley because I missed the beautiful grey limestone, the forests, and the streams. Stream swimming is not a thing in the dry West.

Peace in my case is found (not exclusively, but still) in familiar Beauty. Other Beauty calls for admiration, but a beautiful barn in Central PA on a sunny day can make my heart sing.

Peace of the Beautiful Barn, y’all! And at last of a sunny day!


Defiant, Present Beauty and Peace

Today the news from my community is sobering. One woman’s sister has been diagnosed with a challenging illness. One woman’s brother has been shot and killed in the line of duty, leaving a wife and 5 children, with one more on the way. How do we support these women and help them feel loved in a world world whose meaning has shifted for them?

Walking around the corner on a gloomy day, it’s helpful to encounter unexpected Beauty, present and vital long past its due date. Everywhere else around here, tulips are stem… These long, rangy beauties are still tightly furled. They promise: more beauty to come!

In the face of tragedy or simple daily challenge, we must persist with Beauty and Peace. We must struggle to figure out what that means. We must persist. One step at a time toward Peace and Beauty.

Peace on and from our River

The Susquehanna is so beautiful. Your river is probably beautiful too.

As they bless us with their Beauty and their Bounty, we must also bless them.

We must care for them.

Clean water for everyone is a great start on Peace. Water you can drink, water you can fish in, water you can swim in, water you can walk beside… wait, am I sounding like my (Middle Susquehanna) Riverkeeper? You bet I am.

Clean Water for Peace. Us for Clean Water. Us for Peace. Pretty simple in theory. Let’s make it true in practice.

Fleeting, but Powerful, Beauty

Because flowers come and go so quickly, it’s easy to think of them as fragile. I guess, in fact, they are in one way. But they are also immensely powerful. All of the plants energy has gone into this beauty whose job is fall apart after having attracted the pollinators and protected its reproductive organs. We’re not supposed to cut the leaves while green because they’re doing their little photosynthesis thing for the plant.

But as far as most of us think, the tulip’s job is Beauty. Proud, loud Beauty and delicate, fragile Beauty. (if you cut them, remember to put a penny in the vase and it will keep them happily upright — not fake news!). They come in Spring and offer themselves for our delight. They remind us the Sun is returning. If rain and wind don’t do them in, they stand as proud sentinels until they fall apart.

But they grow tall and beautiful and please us mightily. They bring their own kind of Peace. And they are instructive. They use their energy to do what they’re best at and then they go away for the year. May the Fourth, Friends!