Peace Pilgrimage

We need places to go. We need places to take ourselves off to that give us respite.

Too many of us are sitting around with rocks in our guts as our government freewheels around us.

We need to figure out how to draw back, draw in. Where to find ourselves a place that soothes and comforts us in the midst of the work to be done. Inspire means to breathe in… it’s the opposite of expire… Breathe in Life. Find new ways of being creative and dogged and persistent.

There’s a lot of work to be done. Peace is not easy. It’s not that it’s not worth our work, it’s just not easy. Take a break. Celebrate life. And then come back and care for it. Come back and get to (Peace) work.


Holding Stories, Holding Peace

It’s a horror to understand that our local woods were completely destroyed by logging. Pennsylvania has so many trees, it’s hard to comprehend that these are second and third growth trees.

Ancient witnesses to life were clear cut and used for progress… Who knows how the climate changed then.

But at least this one tree was felled, hewn into planks and set to span a creek so that folks could get from one side to the other. The slabs of wood are about 4 inches thick and have served for almost 200 years. The bridge was covered to keep the weather from rotting the wood. So it’s never been replaced. I’m sure someone knows how old these trees are. All I know is that they’re ancient and beautiful.

They welcomed the stories of friends with 50 years of history this summer, just as they welcomed the stories of those who built the bridge, just as they welcomed the stories of those who sat beneath them when they were much younger trees.

This is an ancient, Life-supporting Valley that grew these ancient trees.

Let us give thanks. And let us make Peace with the woods and the wood that has born witness…

Graduating to Peacemaker

Learning to be a Peacemaker is not easy. There are so many moving parts.

The work we are all to engage in is finding which part is ours to do. And then slowly, slowly, slowly, to get better at it. Along the way you’ll find other things you’re good at and you’ll add those. Along the way you’ll find things you’re really exquisitely awful at and you’ll put them aside forever. If they’re necessary to your part of the journey, you’ll find the one who does them well and joyously.

This is important. It’s going to be a long and difficult journey. We are not in a place of Peace. We must be the oases along the way. We must be Peace. We must Peace. We must be Peacemakers.

Graduation means childhood is gone. The stark reality and it’s unbelievable beauty is right in front of us.

Peace and blessings on our way.

Bogs and Peace

We talk about being bogged down and that’s seen as a bad thing. Bogs are spongy and slurpy and like to suck our shoes off our feet. And as the (i think) hilarious meme says (or sorta says, sorry, author, for the misquote) “Growing up, I thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem in my life!” In my youth, on tv shows, everyone got caught in quicksand at least once.

But we don’t talk about the fact that bogs are teeming with life: avian, reptilian, icthyoid, mammalian, and amphibian. It’s probably where life started.

Why don’t we talk about that?

We do know that wetlands are important. And not enough of them are protected. When those sponges are unhealthy, we are as well.

If we want to foster life, we need to clean up our water and our wetlands. Peace of a healthy ecosystem to you my friends.

Water is Life and Peace

Water is Life. We must care for it.

There’s no way around that. We come from water, are born from it. It is 60 percent of us. If we can’t process water, we die. If we don’t have clean water, we die.

My troubles dissolve in water. It brings me Peace. Clean water is necessary to me in ways far beyond the physical.

We must care for water. It is not an endless source… We have the water we have and we keep polluting it. It must stop. We must stop. We must demand that greed is not more important than our water. Water is sacred and belongs to the people. Let us bless the water. Let us be a blessing to the water. Even as it brings us Peace, may we bring Peace as well.

Water is Life. Water is Peace. Blessed Be.

Winter’s Peace of What Is

Look at those critters. One day they’re munching on grass; the next they’re hanging in the barn. Oh, they say, sleeting. I’ll stay inside and eat. Oh, they say, Look, there’s grass, I’ll eat that tasty treat.

Humans spend so much time railing against what is. That’s not what I wanted, we cry. Hello, weather! Hello, season. Hello, Life!

This is what we have. Dress appropriately. Eat winter foods. Move about getting on with life.

We can’t make Peace if we’re worrying about being in control of the uncontrollable. We make Peace with our attitudes and acceptances. Oh, this is who you are! Well, Peace. Some of it is that simple. When it’s not simple we have more work to do. Peace. Now.


Wow! There’s Peace in the Neighborhood!

Some friends are helping me remember that there’s more generosity out there than we realize, and we need to not give into the fear.

All of us seem to clutch our fear to our chests. It’s what we know. It’s how we roll. And it’s completely counterproductive to Love. Too many times, it tells us untruths.

So, in a very conservative neighborhood, a gay wedding has sparked nothing but wishes to help and joy in the invitation.

We can keep bridging the gaps. And celebrating life. And it will all just get deeper and sweeter.

And maybe we can work together. Maybe we can Peace.


Rolling in the Peace

It’s not just the plants that come dancing back to life in the Spring. Most of us do too. (A special shout out to those who feel about Summer the way the rest of the world feels about Winter).

But for those of us whose faces turn eagerly Sunward, there’s something that pulls sheer, giggling exuberance from us.

For me, it’s always great to see the crocus, but It’s the stalwart daffodils and narcissus that make cheery. I fret about whether it’s time to run to Catawissa hill to see the grape hyacinths that my family always visited. And I wait eagerly for the violets to rampage across lawns. C’mon violets. (And Spring, don’t you go getting too warm on us so that the violets can play a while. pleeeeeeeze?)

There’s something about the freshness of the air that thrills. And the changed angle of the Sun. Whatever it is, enjoy whatever great laughing, Springing Peace you’re called to. This intoxicating moment is brief โ€” that’s part of what makes it wonderful.

Spring! Peace! Life! Enjoy them all. Oh โ€” and pay your taxes.


Participating in Advent Peace

We are the longed for difference. We are what the world needs.

Our struggling best is exactly what the world needs from us. Participating. It’s what’s asked of us.

What ever your faith or philosophic tradition, I believe this. Life is such a miraculous thing. It is totally ridiculous that it happens. And yet it does. So Participating is just saying thanks, enjoying this, over here! Making sure everyone else can as well.

There’s so much work to do. Our hands are needed. Without whining that someone else isn’t doing his/her part… sometimes we need to grab the hand of the person next to us and encourage them along. Participating. It’s a wild and heady feeling.

Because life is wonderful. And we are privileged to be alive. And some of the world needs so much โ€” and who are we to withhold what we have?

Take some time during this season to figure out what your part is. Do something every day to make it better. Take a moment to renew your faith in the gift we’re given. And then get busy. Life needs you! So does Love. So does Peace.

Alternative Advent – December 15: 10ยข for every outside door.