Making Your Path to Peace

We’re all going to get to Peace a bit differently. And that’s great.

The more Peace Paths the better.

Today’s musing grew from yesterday’s post right here… I knew this picture was there for me to consider, but hadn’t thought about how I might use it.

I’m thinking more and more about how I contribute to the Peace of the moment, the Peace of my region and the Peace of the world. Trying to think globally and act locally.

I confess that thinking globally right now worries me… so time to double down. Time to stop whining and start appreciating. Time to keep forging connections. I think connections are building blocks for Peace. Time to celebrate when it happens. More, more, more. Peace. Peace. Peace.

Sunrise, Sunset, Sabbath, Peace

I received a video this morning to tell me that the sunrise had been beautiful. As beautiful, it turns out as the sunset last night. And the sunset was gorgeous. (even if driving west during the sunset is a pretty lousy idea.

Ah, this earth. and this beauty.

I’m grateful that this is my Sabbath today. After the tumultuous weekend, it will be so good to gather with those who are my family of faith. Our traditions may be different, but when they’re right for us, there is that sense of coming home. And when the world is so crazy, home is central to our well-being. And so many, so many have lost all they’ve known as home.

I must admit that after the long hours on the road, I’m really looking forward to an afternoon nap as well. zzzzzz.

But enjoy the day. it’s cold but beautiful. Do those things that remind you how good it is to be alive.

Peace be with us all, my friends. Peace.


Remembering, Peace

It was such a beautiful day yesterday. Wildly, out-of-season-ly beautiful. And oh, it looks like it might be the same sort of day today. hurrah.

So, yesterday and today, in terms of their beauty, are days to remember — and to be enjoyed.

Yesterday was also a day to remember a friend whom we buried. I’m mostly called on to do memorials and interment of ashes. I rarely do a casket funeral. But this is what my friend wanted. (and before we get too far off topic, they’re now saying that perhaps it’s better to bury than to cremate due to the immense amount of fuel and the release of particulate matter.)

People always say to me, you must hate doing funerals. In fact, I don’t. I am so honored to do them. Weddings are fun and baby blessings are a joy. But funerals, to work to get the memories right, to help people remember their loved one… oh, that is such a privilege.

I have people I work with at church, musicians, poets, kitchen magicians who deepen the experience. Will you do this, I ask, and they say yes. And then it all gets better. It was even richer because his friend, who doesn’t speak in public, opened his heart and spoke for his friend. We use who we are and what we know and make space for family and friends to be comforted in their loss and maybe even inspired to live more fully by this person they knew so well.

It’s silly, but wonderful to be so glad that my wedding table cloths and those little salt and pepper shakers are useful in lifting a family’s heart in the gathering afterwards.

Funerals, just like every other experience in life, should engage as many senses as possible. This one did. The service helped us remember. The day was so beautiful, so that standing at the graveside for this man whose struggles had ended, everything seemed joyous and right. Poetry and song wove ties around us.

And then back to the church for another opportunity for building memories.

Thank you my friends. For that day, in that group, Peace was in that place.

And then there’s the totally absurd fact that having done two funerals in one week in what must be county cemeteries, I’m on a winking and grinning basis with the gravediggers. It’s a weird world.

There’s birth and death and a whole lot of life in between. But at the end to be laid to rest with gentle words and reinforcing bonds, this is good.


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.


Two Lands, One Heart, No Peace

It’s just the saddest story. A country that just cut itself in half. Closed down its borders. Never left a moment for people to come together with their families.

Love stories that continued. Love stories that ended. Children that never saw their parents.

Life decided by politics and who knows what else rather than by connection. Life that people continue to tightly control.

I confess I’d never thought about what that line in a country might mean. Well, maybe politically, but never in the sense of broken hearts and lives.

Such sadness. Such a longing for Peace thwarted by needs for power. I feel helpless — but I can tell the story and weave connections so that this cannot be ever again anywhere else. I can try.


Shaping Peace

As I read stories about people dropping stones onto cars below, I wonder what’s happening in the macro sense. I feel like my grandmother, bewildered by a nasty, changing world, maybe it’s not different. Maybe I’m just seeing things more clearly. But it feels different.

And yet I remember my father taking boy scouts hiking. A rock was kicked off a path, and fell onto the top of a car driving below. I don’t believe it was aimed for the car. I know they were lucky it landed on the roof and I know they rushed down to make amends and to offer (I don’t remember what happened, i was very young) to pay for the damages.

Accidents happen, especially when people are horsing around. But no one around here doesn’t know the dangers of such things because we’ve known what happened to Sharon Budd when a rock landed on her head. Four boys dropped a big rock onto the Budd’s car. It struck Sharon in her head. Over a year later, she struggles with pain and memory and operation after operation. She will always struggle; her life has been altered. The boys (young men?) are going to jail.

What tempts them?

Is it naive to think we’re not connected enough? That we’re not seen enough? I know, there are always kids who weren’t, but are there too many? Families are not gathered, few belong to churches. Few are scouting, few are connected.

And if we’re not connected, the world is happening to us, we’re not happening to the world. We’re not creating Peace.

Guns. Rocks. No Peace. What do we do? It’s on us… I wish I had a clue about where to begin.


Traveling Peace

This is the place in the summer where I celebrate how lucky I am — and not only because it’s swimming season!

I’m visiting friends and family all over CA. Friends from Sweden, friends from when I lived here, family from when I got married, friends from living back East. Sweet, satisfying visits (with lots of fresh vegetables and talk npr on the way from one house to the next!)

It’s sort of like heaven. All these people are people I love. Many are people I think with. and some, like EG are just bonuses. what a delight. and what a blessing! Thinking. Reading. Loving. yes!  Lucky, lucky me.

But oooh, the traffic. Gotta love rural central PA.

But meanwhile. I’m having fun. How about you?

Love brings a lot of Peace, in so many ways!

I hope it brings you some. Start Loving! Start Peacing! Yahoo!


Summer Memories, Sabbath Peace, Berry Moon

It’s a positively beautiful day.

It’s a day for breathing in the Beauty and all the promise and possibility in the beginning of this Berry Moon Season. Strawberries, soon! Swimming, soon! Memories abounding. New possibilities ahead.

It’s the Sabbath and a day for reflection. Today among other things, I’ll be remembering an old family friend. Part of my parents’ crowd… fewer and fewer beloved elders. (as I become one despite my shock and surprise!). Jack. loved steam engines. Did the best corn on the cob. Funny, corny jokes. could fix anything. His wife and my mom shared a birthday on December 24, so we always lunched together that day. Making family every way we could.

Hope your day is grand. Hope you find some sweet Summer Peace to indulge in and some memories to make. Sweet blessings of the Berry Moon be with you…


Sweet Unwaited Gifts of Peace

I didn’t know what was waiting at Deb’s house when I went to get the photos. (It’s always going to be Deb’s house, just like my car is always going to be Deb’s car.)

I’m a pretty confident person, so I knew I’d at least look relaxed and engaged while i was there.

But obviously not completely relaxed. Deb had one of Mom’s irises copied into the lunch bar. Was it still there? I have no idea.

But the house looked sweet and appreciated and they’re so happy there. so good for them. And I don’t have to visit very often.

But he had these photos. Did I want them. How did I know? I figured they were probably just photos of Deb’s life in Bloomsburg, but it was so kind of him not to throw them away, so, I said, yes, please.

And then avoided picking them up. because… I’d have to go to the house to get them…

But there they were. My Nana and my mom, sisty and niece. in soft, sweet, living color. So potent, this picture of these beloved women.

And he walked me outside and we looked at deb’s redbud which was blooming like crazy and at the holly, which needed some attention, and at the maple which grew from my parents’ maple… and saw how his roots are entwined with ours. And intellectually, I thought how great and in my heart I screamed I want my sister. And meanwhile I talked with his dad about music and Steve and him about the house and the pool.

And what a sweet, sweet gift he gave me. There are a whole bunch of kinds of Peace in his gesture. My job now is to come to terms with both the Peace and the connections, however that gets done. Giving thanks for his kindness.




The Peace of Snow Moon Community

Shoulder to shoulder around the fire. Or at a restaurant. Or at the theater.

The weather’s totally impossible right now. So it’s a good time to snuggle up and get to know you neighbors. Take a chance on finding new people to know and connect with.

Someone just wrote on her facebook page: What to do when it is 7 degrees outside? Have a warm breakfast with good friends and then it goes up to 12….whoo hoo! I responded, see, friendship works miracles. (thanks Benita, you little community builder, weather magician, you!).

It’s not always easy to make connections, and yet it’s so important. And in this season of the cold and frosty Snow Moon, we can use some heart-warming encounters.

Yesterday, I went with a bunch of people to see Art at the local ensemble theater. Oh, we’re so lucky; we have a fabulous theater group in Bloomsburg. But if you don’t live around here, there’s someplace else wonderful to gather; something to spark an interesting conversation.

These small acts of community are beginning acts of Peace. There is great strength in Community. People say it’s Lunacy to go out in this weather. Ah but that’s just their thinking of lunacy as crazyness and not as sacred inspiration! Lunacy has a leading role to play in Peace.