The Peace of Beloved Festival Foods

For most of us, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays filled with food and family.

For those without either, let us be generous in opening our hearts and our wallets and cupboards. If we’re going to be thankful, it’s good to be so actively — and there is so much need. Thanksgiving requires great thanksgiving. Some of us are so lucky. I’m humbled by the life I lead. Blessing counting is an important part of this day.

But let us also enjoy — unabashedly… and make plans to revel in the fun.

And the food. Ah, festival foods are the best. Everyone has a favorite food associated with Thanksgiving. We were all stunned when niece Jan chose stuffing as the one food she never had to eat (her brother chose broccoli, which I like, but stuffing, that great gravy conveyance?). The rest of us we all about passing the bowl around one more time.

But for some it’s the yams, for others the turkey itself.

And for me, right up there alongside the stuffing is any kind of cranberry!

I once hosted a thanksgiving feast with 8 different kinds of cranberry sauce. Oh, i was happy!

Today it’s Monday. In three sleeps, it will be Thanksgiving. Turkey. Cranberry. Stuffing.

And a lovely, lovely wedding to perform. Yep. I’m looking forward. (and i get to miss the football part, which I know is other people’s favorite piece.)

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with thanksgiving.


Pride and Peace

I have wonderful friends. I know wonderful people. People who do ordinary and extraordinary things. People who do things to the best of their abilities. People who stretch beyond what is expected of them… whether by others or by themselves.

We have this weird thing going on in today’s culture…  we have both very low expectations of people, jumping up and down when you phone in a an experience — and ridiculously high ones: failing to notice when when people reach deep into themselves and pull out all that is bright and beautiful and put it to work.

When we do our halting best and do a good job, that means something.

Too often we don’t turn to those we love — or even to those we barely know and say good job you worked so hard, you really tried. Not even you succeeded — you worked your heart out on that. The least I can do is be present enough in the moment to notice and to tell you.

And it’s good to know that your friends treasure your work because they know what it costs you. We all do a lot of things that aren’t the easy things for us. We should be proud of ourselves. And we should be proud of people we know. And we should tell them.

I know this is dicey. I know that that pride can be a dangerous thing. It can become more about the pride and less about the doing what needs to be done.

But sometimes we need that encouragement. Sometimes we are so petrified at what we’re undertaking it means the world to have someone turn and say, yep. you’re doing a wonderful job. Keep going. You’ve discovered new possibilities. You’re working hard and doing good. A friend of mine always used to say 5 attaboys or attagirls for you. Yes, you.

My friends, I’m proud of you. Be Peaceful with yourselves. You’re doing the best you can — so much more than you imagined you could.


Brisk and Beautiful Peace

Fall. It’s just lovely. And today’s as good an example of that as any day we’ve had.

This is one of those times I want to say to folks, slow down, be careful, don’t miss this.

People start to fret about winter. How cold it’s going to be, how dark. Yes (and i admit, I embrace that — and hey, we should maybe all examine the possibility of a little more vitamin d in our lives), but winter has a purpose. and it’s beautiful.

But right now. Right this very minute, it’s fall. and it’s gorgeous. Let’s be present right now. Count today’s blessings, worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.

Pretty soon they’re going to turn back time… and maybe I’ll start getting up in the morning!

Okay. Maybe not.

But today it is beautiful. Today, I look around and am overcome with the Beauty. Today I am at Peace where I am in space and time. I hope you are too.




Music, BOLO, Peace

Oh, the silly way your brain works. I see my buddy on a high way billboard and think BOLO… but her music is so grand, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout because you want to catch her if you can.

She’s a great singer songwriter. Funny, generous, hot. She’s also an incredible performer. She totally owned a couple songs that she covered. She’s spoiled me for others on those, really. Listened to a young woman approach one of those songs the other day. I make allowances for her age, really I do, some songs it takes a long time to master, let alone own… but I kept hearing EG and kept thinking, go home, learn it, and then come back and try again.

It’s fun to have people you love be really, really good at what they do. It’s fun to introduce others to her music and have them be bewitched as well.

And it’s a bit sad, as her music in my mind is linked to another singer songwriter, a woman who died of cancer a few years ago. They sang together, these two very different women and just had the best time. An extra large time as EG would say. And while Ann Rabson was dying, EG Kight was being very sick with meningitis and encephalitis. At first they didn’t know if she’d die and then she didn’t know if she’d ever pick up a guitar again. Or sing. Or write songs. Or tour. But she is doing all those things and just touching heart after heart.

So, EG Kight BOLO… because I have to say, there’s Peace in the fun of her, Peace in the art of her, Peace in the friendship. And Hope. That’s a pretty heady combination and a great way to spend the weekend. Giving thanks. Counting Blessings. Aren’t I a lucky girl.

But why trust this, give her a listen and you’ll get lucky too!


Busy Weekend (Sabbath) Peace!

What a rich weekend. Friday night at King Street Coffee House and great friends playing. Doing ceremony — a sad tribute to a lovely woman. An evening all about friends and listening to a dear friend who just gets better and better.

Today is jam-packed. Church (preceded by choir!). A friend in a play (and the reviews have been great.) And then more friends in another short road trip to hear EG Kight sing again.

A couple years ago EG Kight came very close to dying. And did not. But they didn’t know if she would ever sing again, let alone write, let alone tour. She’s back, her voice is better than ever, and although the touring is hard work, she packed a three hour show. Never less than her best.

And she is so encouraging. She’s played with one local musician before, and she brought him up. But she’d heard about a young man called him out of the audience and handed him her guitar. And then coaxed the best out of him and let him coax the best out of her. It was lovely. Such generosity.

So you know me. I’m a bide-at-home kinda girl. But once in a while, you have to make the effort to enjoy the bounty. And doesn’t that seem ridiculous.

I know this area is rich. But every area is. Feast and give thanks.

You can’t help but be at Peace when you’re sitting in a crowd listening to someone belting out the blues. (Most of the time I could even let the young talking kids in the front off my indignant that’s-no-way-to-listen-to-a-concert fuddiduddiness!) Music. Theater. Ceremony. Community. Faith. It’s a weekend worth celebrating and a Sabbath worth indulging, and making sacred. Oh, and there were moments of sublime beauty. It’s Peace if we give it a chance.


Something Beautiful, Something Peace

“I will set my bow in the sky as a promise…” Of all the biblical pieces that have stuck, this is one. Every time I see one, I’m happy.

So to see this one, on this day…when my heart was feeling so many things — so many things that in fact I blew past my exit and took the long drive to the next exit. It was only as I was turned around, coming home, that I saw the promise.

And it was gorgeous, hidden there behind the curtain of rain.

Such a gift of beauty. And I often think of rainbows as summer pleasures part of the joy of thundershowers. Yet not an hour before, we’d had snow.

But you take Beauty and heart’s ease where you find it. You find the holy, the sacred, in the ordinary. You count those blessings when they’re there to be counted.

Peace comes in so many little gifts. Let us celebrate. Let us Peace.


Friends, Sabbath, Renewal, Peace

When I thought about this weekend, I thought about my friends who were getting married and the groom’s daughter, my beloved niece.

Somehow, it escaped my imaginings that there would be other friends i knew there. Their family, the circle of friends from California, whom I knew from my years out there. And I hadn’t really factored in the bride’s huge Canadian Clan. Blessing upon Blessing.

So it was lovely and fun and there were lots of people to talk to and laugh with. The room was gorgeous. I enjoyed the ceremony (and you know how judgmental I can be about that!) So many reasons to celebrate!

And it was all so New York, so that was a lovely revisiting as well. And the Moon made herself a beautiful part of the weekend, that full and lovely Lady!

And today, after a visit with my girlie, I’ll come home to my life. This marks the end of a long and lovely summer. Just a few more days to make sense of all the stuff swirling in my head, after this interruption of wild city life!

Today, I’ll be glad to have a relatively slow day of driving and then sitting around staring emptily into space. I’m not used to weekends on the go. But this was a fabulous one!

And at the end… things were changed and different and wonderful. Peace reigns… even the East River, the view out my window, is quiet this morning as I write. I hope you have a wonderful end of summer day!


Re-membering Peace

Life is made up of such layers. So many things in our lives that have made it sweet and all those things evolve… some are still part of our lives, some are lost to us and some are just now entering.

Yesterday was the second anniversary of Deb’s death. It’s almost time for what would have been my niece’s 49th birthday. All the joy of that family is held closely… and yet… and yet… they’re all gone.

Last night was the pre-wedding celebration of my friend’s second marriage. HIs first wife, my dear friend, died eight years ago. To see him last night, so happy, so happy! Again! At last!

The dinner was at a carousel. It was a lovely venue on the edge of the East River in Brooklyn. Full Moon rising over the park as we took the water taxi in… We sat looking back at the NYC skyline on a gorgeous summer evening. Eating grilled cheese sandwiches from a food truck. Oh, I remember New York, I remember. It was once a love of mine.

And there was my friend, swirling around the carousel, his bride going up and down on the horse beside him, intimately talking and laughing, just the two of them on the ride… so fun.

And lots of old friends with lots of catching up to do.

So many memories. So much happiness tempering the loss. A chance to both be present to the moment and to put all the pieces back together to envision a sweet, sweet future.

Remembering Love is an act of defiance, an act of Peace. And I’d love to stay longer, but New York is outside my hotel, demanding I remember… and an old friend is here to walk through it with me. Bye for now!



Abundance. Peace.

This is the time of year when it’s easy to comprehend Abundance. Look at any garden. Count your blessings in numbers and varieties. Although, you may also, if you’re the gardener, be a little overwhelmed by the chaos, which is the flip side of abundance. We need, I believe, good glasses to find the abundance in chaos — and a lot of deep breathing.

But yes. it is our responsibility to eat tomatoes and tomatoes and tomatoes. They’re here. They’re wonderful. Sure. Put them up as well… but taste them! yummmmmmmm.

And Peaches. And Peppers. And whatever else is tickling your fancy.

Although, it must be said, i don’t feel any responsibility to eat the 45 foot long zucchini!

But enjoy. Give thanks. Don’t take this bounty for granted for one moment. And share.

There’s enough for everyone. Let’s share. Let’s Peace, for goodness’ sake.


Everyday Peace in the Ripe Garden Moon

I am extraordinarily lucky to work in a UU church which takes the preparation for the year seriously. I have a moth of study and a month of vacation. So few clergy have this, although we all need it.

We need it because we’re tired from a year of putting out. We need it because if you’re not going to hear the same old sermons next year, we need to put something in. But I get it.

And I’ve been a reading fool. I’ve been absolutely luxuriating in the reading.  Stuffing my brain full so I can let it all percolate around for a while.

What’s made my reading time more wonderful is that I’ve been able to do it in the company of people I love. I’ve been in one house and then another. And there we’ve sat being together and quietly doing whatever we do.

I’ve gotten things accomplished. In the company of loved ones. And rather than running around doing things, we’ve hung around and done what needed to be done. talked some. laughed a lot. and been quiet together.  The first week was with my Sweet Pea. I had long quiet stretches with him. ahhh. oh, the blessings to be counted.

This is a Peace I don’t often have at home. There are things to do. And some of these friends are very far away. But because of my job, I have this lovely, sacred pleasure.

I’m going to indulge this particular Peace as much as I can… and give thanks as I do it. And stare out the window at the lovely Ripe Garden Moon, whose picture his sister took, and remember the vegetables that just graced our supper table this evening… mmmmm.