Sweet Peace of the Road; Sabbath All the Time

I’m on retreat/vacation. Every day’s a Sabbath with me for a while. It’s a wonderful thing and I’m so grateful. I’m being a reading fool. Sometimes a cleaning fool, which IS shocking.

Also a traveling fool. Steve and I took off for Maine for a week and had a wonderful time at our cousins’. Quiet, lovely coastal visit. Lots of oysters. Plenty of lobster. So many books. So many quiet conversations. Piles of Peace and Quiet. Lovely sleeping in the cabin in the woods. Lovely being together. So many blessings it was hard to keep track, let alone count.

We’re good traveling buddies. Talk. Talk. Talk. It’s nice. It was particularly nice doing our night driving on the way home. It was an easy drive with Ms GPS telling me how to get hither thither and yon. So, just lots of comforting darkness. Not even a moon, as it was the dark of the Moon. Just Steve and me and the road.

It was an abundance of plenty. Rejoicing in the Peace.

Now I have a couple more things to do before starting the great writing… but there’s time. Blessed Sabbath to you all… May there be beautiful slow days in your life this summer.

And there was this…



Peace of Another Thunder Moon Sabbath

It’s crazy how excited I get about things that aren’t really that big. But it’s fun.

Today I get to preach at the Joseph Priestley Chapel. It’s fun to preach in because it’s got great acoustics. It’s fun to preach in because, there, I really feel the connection to our lineage. Our little congregation is heir to Gunpowder Joe. It’s quite a reputation to live up to! It’s a once a year deal, and I enjoy it.

And then, we’re off to the building to do the final bit of organization at the behest of the Yard Sale Major General. This is a huge event and it’s been very carefully orchestrated. It’s something that makes me with my great extroversion crazy, because I have to see everything at once. And then you add people. Ay Caramba! However, I’m also fascinated. What was once just piles of stuff is now carefully and attractively displayed. And tomorrow great gobs of it will disappear! wow! And so it will go for an entire week. At the end of the week, anything that doesn’t go, gets sent off somewhere, somehow to do good. Everything gets used.

Today it’s not going to rain, although it’s going to be cloudy. So we’ll get stuff done. And then, there’s a Sunday afternoon in my future. Lazin’ around, getting things done, reading something… reflecting back on the last two nights of the reunion, spending time with a friend. All in all it’s going to be a lovely day.

But first gathering with my community, and then watching the hive of worker bees follow directions!

And oh, right. The yard sale is another opportunity to shed stuff. To realize how much we have and how little we need. Count those blessings, and then share them. Enjoy your abundance, and then set it free. And then at the sale, you’re sometimes gifted to see people get things for a quarter that they need. a pan, an interview outfit, a set of plates. Some people just drop in for lunch. Every day. For six days.

It’s a gift of camaraderie. It’s a gift of community building. It’s a gift to the wider community. We’re so lucky that some of our brave souls are willing to do this, and in doing it, invite us to participate.

Somewhere there’s Peace in this, if only in the organization. Sadly the Thunder Moon looks like living up to her reputation so there will be the challenge of keeping the rain off the goods. But before it all, there’s the wonder that chaos can turn into a gift of love.


Pink Moon Daddy Peace

Some days, rather than writing about the world, I need to write about what’ and who are all the world to me.

My father would have been 100 today. That’s a righteous number of years of which he lived 93.

He was a good man. He was a gentle man, a gentleman. A bit stern, a chemist, so very thorough. He was a Christian in all the ways that mattered. He was thoughtful, stood for what was right, served on committees, school boards, municipal boards, pool boards. He helped start the day care center and the women’s shelter.

I’m proud of him. Proud to be his daughter and follow in his lineage. Proud of his grandkids for him and in his way… Grateful for him.

Oh, we had so much fun in the last years of his life.

So Happy Birthday Daddy. I’ll try and find some lemon meringue this weekend and lift a forkful to you in celebration. I’ll call my brother and tell him I love him. And write his grandkids and tell them I’m proud and that he would have been so proud.

Peace. I was a lucky woman with a good father. I miss him, but mostly I’m just so happy I had him and that he had the raising of me. I’m a better woman for it.

Lucky me. Lucky Peace. Thanks Pink Moon, for a great Daddy. And wow, a whole century of him!



Happy Sugar Moon Peace Pi(e) Day

So a friend chastised those of us celebrating Pi(e) day for not celebrating Tau day. (And looking at this article from the Kahn Academy… it looks like last year was the year to have really whoop(ie pie)d it up… Hopefully she’ll help me remember 6.28 this year!

But I think it’s delightful to have a lovely day the entire world can agree on… and liking math and circles and pie can’t be a bad thing.

Peace is built on celebrating both differences and similarities. We share Pi… Let’s share Pie!

Let’s all enjoy a piece of the blessed Peace Pie. There’s plenty to go around. Even the Sugar Moon seems to be in on it!



Stretching Holiday Peace, llvl

Since I was an exchange student 45 years ago and discovered that Sweden celebrated Second Day Christmas, I’ve been greedy about holidays.

Since I’ve married, I’ve had Second Day lots of things because we always get together with his family on the day after the holiday… 2nd day hurrah! Leftovers and Family, what a blessing.

This week I got a third crack at Thanksgiving. No leftovers were involved, but there was a meet up at a local restaurant on a hill overlooking the river. It was grand. Nancy, our historian, had brought along name tags from earlier Turkey Days from everyone who wasn’t there. Those who couldn’t make it and those we fondly imagine eating together at the Thanksgiving buffet up in the sky.

We take whatever opportunities we have these days… because they are few and we are fewer than we were.

Gather your families… time passes and Peace looks different a few years down the road… Giving thanks for what I have and for who I had in my life. Trying to stay present in this miraculous moment.


Peace of All Souls, llvl

Today we learned that a fourth child is dead of gunshot wounds in the last we know of high school shooting. The only way to make Peace with that is to change laws about guns and our ho-hum relationship to violence. Are you voting on Tuesday for someone who will listen to your wishes around safety? Are you learning what you need to know about this issue? Are you engaging people in discussions? You might want to.

And I don’t know what we do for children like Jaylen, who somehow find themselves so alienated that this looks like an option. Because that poor broken child is lost as well. His family is as devastated as the families of the other children.

And today, we remember our beloved Dead. I learned so much about Day of the Dead about commemorating the dead when I lived in the Bay Area. All over the world, people have celebrated this time as a time to remember. And yet so much of American culture is around forgetting the pain. Any of us who have ever tried that know it doesn’t work…

And why would I forget? Why would I forget people who brought joy and beauty into my life? Why would you? Re-membering, calling them back into your heart once a year is a reminder that your life has been enriched. It is a way to proudly acknowledge that your life has been blessed by these wonderful people. It is a prayer of thanksgiving. It is another way of making family and creating community. So today, on this day of all souls, I will spend time with your memories and I will give rejoice and give thanks and sigh for those things we will never do again. And it will be a worthy use of my time. It will be a splendid exercise in Peace because you are among those who taught me the beauty of relationship.


Peace’s Slow Goodbye, llvl

Goodbye. Such a hard word. Such a hard thing.

And at the end of such a long and luxurious trip, you’re tempted to sneak off, to end it before the end — as if that wouldn’t hurt as well, as if it’s a good thing to mask your feelings.

I’ve always felt the pull of the quick exit, although I’m pretty good at not actually giving into that seductive pull.

Life is short. Pleasures are fleeting. And to give up any piece of it is to cheat yourself and to cheat life. You can’t count your blessings if you just blow by them!

So, off we go to Gothenburg, and three fun-filled days with dear dear friends… My job is to be present to every last drop of sweetness… Every last moment of Peace. Because this particular Peace will have to last me a good long while… I want to cram in every bit… Because as soon as we get home, there’s the Peace of home that will want attention. Peace be with us all…


Swedish Sabbath Peace, llvl

This morning there is indeed Sabbath Peace in our hearts. Lorraine’s son called her about 11 last evening. He’d just seen his aunt’s post on Facebook. Her son was missing. He’d fought with his parents and stormed off. He was drinking, they knew that. He can’t drink on the medications he’s on, they knew that. He hadn’t shown up the evening before for an 11 o’clock meet at a concert.

What to do, what to do? They called. They posted on FB. People shared. His sister and her friends shared. The rest of us just hoped and prayed and willed best outcomes. But people came forward to comfort and to reassure. It’s happened to me, I’ve had that fear; yet it was ok.

Most of the time it is ok… but sometimes it isn’t. But there you were, willing to take a moment to think about a young man you’ll never meet and a frantic mom and dad. To hold your friend who holds her friends. Community, with the loosest of connections, but stepping up to be community.

So today, because of where I am and because of who you are, I’m counting blessings and giving thanks. For all the places we miss the mark, there are plenty where the arrow flies true. Thanks for being those well aimed friends. Love, it’s for everyone. Peace lies in our hands, which today were very capable. We must remember how capable we are!


The Peace of Deep Friendship, llvl

There is no greater joy, I think, than to have fast friends. People who know us. I love making new friends. But oh, those friends who understand where we’ve come from and how we got to where we are today.

I love those instantaneous “oh, I like you” relationships. But I really love those friendships that you grow into and grow in. The ones that just keep spiraling deeper. The ones that aren’t dependent on constantly shared lives but which sweeten on shared understandings.

Being here in these friendships is like swimming in beloved waters. You simply soak them in, gratitude for being alive fills each moment. It’s as if your ability to be present is sharply magnified and you are who you are.

Such friendships call you to account and give you space to reflect.

Such friendships remind you when you miss the mark but offer you the opportunity to try again.

If I have a creation myth, it is about being called into relationship with the Divine. Nothing more sacred than friendship… Oh, we give thanks, for this precious day…

I’ve been singing that a lot recently. Sweet Deep Peace in the rising and falling of conversations with friends.


Island Paradise Peace, llvl

I don’t think there’s any way around this. I think the Swedes are better at being still and in the moment than we are. It could be just me, but many of us, even on vacation are good at just sitting, delighting in the moment. The countryside is beautiful, but there’s beauty everywhere. I’d match my Central Susquehanna’s beauty against beauty anywhere.

One of the things I’ve recognized since I’ve been here is that I occasionally grab Paradise when I meet it. I sat and the stream with Emily and watched the world go by. I floated on the river on my Brother- and Sister-in-law’s boat when my friends came.

And maybe it was just because I’m here that people have taken more time to sit and admire the harbor or the forests, but I don’t think so. They’re on vacation. They’re out in Nature enjoying it. Not necessarily doing something, just being there. Passing around the slightly flavored water and sipping it slowly.

One afternoon, while visiting a sister and her beau, whose daughter and granddaughter were visiting as well, we all piled in the boat and boated around the island. Margita and the 6 year old pulled mackerel lines behind, once we got out on the ocean side of the island. Sophie, the daughter cut their heads off. Björn grilled the fish and we ate them for dinner 3 hours later. Paradise. The sight and taste of the sea. Sweet companionship. A quick stop for a dessert cheese which provided late-afternoon ice creams to tide us over to dinner.

And then the next morning, getting up and packing and then making the time to go down and slip into the sea, there just to bob around like so much flotsam, or is it jetsam, I always forget.

Paradise is here. It’s meant to be enjoyed. It’s meant to be shared. Peace, sweet Peace is in the still, sweet moments in between… (and it’s also, if you get the chance, to be found on islands off the coast of wherever you are. Or in the forests, or the mountains, or the deserts. Just sit and look at Mother Earth. Nature is there to be appreciated. Families are there to be made. Blessings are to be counted. Connections are waiting to slip into place!