Sky, Love, Peace

I am, and always have been, a concrete priestess. I’m not terribly comfortable with many things present in the out-of-doors… like bugs and slithering things.

But when you finally get me out there I have a great time. Because hey! Mother Earth. Nature.

And when Nature is at her most glorious, you have to just go with it, right?

I’m so glad i worked as hard as i did to get there on Sunday. And that I pried my beloved out his… oh, I’ll just stay home. Because this was the finest symphony of skies.

We live on this earth. we should be paying closer attention. I should be paying closer attention. It’s the explosive beauty of these moments that helps us grasp the importance of caring for creation.

This is the world we have and it’s wondrous. Why wouldn’t we take care of it? Why wouldn’t we spend a lot of our lives, pointing and gasping and saying, well, will you look at that? We should spend less time saying, well, would you look at that, gimme it its’ mine or oh, ho hum. another beautiful day, mountain, lake…

Peace. We need to be about the business of peace. Because a world this beautiful deserves nothing less.



The Peace of a Sabbath Lunar Eclipse

The weather gods may relent. There may be glimpses of this lunar event.

It’s a perfect Sabbath endeavor, now that I think about it. Nothing to do but be present. And watch the fire crackle while you wait. It’s late, because, hey it’s the moon, but it’s a great way to spend time with the family…

And in that time I’ll think great thoughts of Peace. I hope you will too. We’ll watch the Earth cover the moon, and go home to dream sweet dreams of Peace. And in the morning, let us get up and see what we can do about all that needs to be done.

I hope you get to bask in the wonder of tonight’s eclipse. It’s not that often that it happens… What a galaxy we live in!

Peace be with us all.


The Peace of the Equinox

I have a predilection for the places in between. Which is sorta funny, if you consider how black and white I can be about things…

But the Equinox: the notion that there is balance in the world is a reminder to us to look for and even create balance.

The Equinox hustled in this morning when we were sleeping at 4:21.

For all who are fasting today, I wish you a sweet and easy fast.

And I invite us all to consider, standing still around the noon hour and consider occupying just that space and observe the world around you without the stain, or shadow, if you prefer, of all your thoughts about the world. Try for a moment to watch it just be what it is without any relation to you.

Relationship is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to try and see things for themselves. It may give us some ideas about how to move forward.

Forward, that is, into Peace, the ultimate Balance, the ultimate wonder. (and oh, ps, don’t forget to try balancing the egg on its fat end! Go on now, try it!)


Peace Day is Every Day

Yesterday was International Peace Day. It is widely celebrated in much of the world, yet barely rates a mention here in the US.

Here’s The UN Call for Peace. The slogan for the year, this wildly warring year, is “Partnerships for Peace — Dignity for All.”

And of course the dances of peace and the celebrations are held on the 21st. But the question of questions is what are we doing today and all the rest of the days of the year to promote Peace. Here’s what a young high-school friend of mine, Reese, already a strong advocate for Peace wrote yesterday:

“On the 25th of September at the United Nations, 193 world leaders will adopt the Global Goals. They’re a series of 17 ambitious goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030. The campaign aims to make the goals famous and push for their full implementation. If the goals become famous, and if people really care about what has been promised by politicians, then it gives them a much greater chance of being put into action. So today, on International Day of Peace, along with the UN and many others, I would really like you all to help make the goals famous and ensure they become a reality. Out of the 17 goals, pick the one that means the most to you and share it with everyone! I chose 2: Zero Hunger. This is how I’m sharing, what are you doing? Here’s a link to the 17 goals!”

In my life, right now, I’m working on ending hunger, gender equality, and reduced inequalities… What are you working on? I’m working locally because I’ve found that’s where I’m most effective. I’m pairing with people and groups like ThinkPeace Workshop for Girls, which has inspired young Reese, because they’re working and thinking globally as well and with Undoing Racism because they’re doing right here on-the-ground difference making.

So I invite us to consider the goals and to choose one to hold in our hearts and to work on with all our being.

Peace is the gift we can give the world in celebration of its astonishing abundance. Why wouldn’t we do that?


Consolidating the Pieces for Peace

As the Fruit Moon wanes (alas, alack) I prepare for the beginning of my work year. It starts as it ended with a yard sale. Boy that required a lot of consolidations, but none of that mine, thankfully. I’ll just go down and hand out bags.

But I’m trying to make sense out of all the things I’ve read this summer, trying to find a place in my mind to lay out the puzzles of all those different pieces. What’s the picture? How do they all fit together. All summer I’ve been expanding and now I’ll have to pull it in to some sort of order.

In a week I face the congregation, and have to have something coherent to say… I don’t want them to miss how much I value the time they offered for this study. I don’t want them to miss the wonder I’ve felt at everything I’ve learned. I don’t want them to miss the importance of some of this simply because I haven’t done the appropriate sorting and placing. It’s been all about issues of Justice. Bob Marley said so simply, no Justice, no Peace. It’s easier for all of us to reach for Peace and ignore the hard work that justice-making demands.

That’s the work of the waning moon — to consolidate.

In the gardens and orchards, the fruits are being brought in and preserved for winter enjoyment. (Although my advice is also to eat them as quickly as you can now. Stand in your kitchen, over the sink and slurp up that ripe food as quickly as you can!) Give thanks for what we have now and for what lies ahead!

Here we are: consolidating the pieces of wonder for Peace. There are worse jobs!


Why Don’t I Do More Art Peace?

Yesterday I got to go on a bus trip to the Philadelphia Art Museum.

Aside from the 5 am wake up, yawn) it was really a lovely thing to climb on a bus and head out. (And let’s here it for Panera’s who open at 6. Very convenient when you’re leaving from their parking lot.)

But the museum provided a day of splendor. So much to see and breathe in.

The light, oh, the light in those Impressionist paintings… and those lovely rivers and coast lines… Every once in a while we’d run into a teacher who was hauling her class around and explaining why this and why that stroke… it was fun to hear.

And the life! Oh, the dancers. Oh the beauty.

And what a daring interesting man Durand-Ruel was who invested in those artists and that movement! Bits of history I never knew.

And I had a lovely introspective moment at the Japanese tea-house. My mom went to art school in Philadelphia and spent formative years there at that museum. We always thought of it as her museum. And I have real memories of seeing that tea house with her. So there I sat for a while, with the Buddha and remembered Mom and being her little girl so amazed that there was a building inside a building and that it was so wonderfully exotic.

It was a moment. I missed her a lot and I was so blessed to have been hers. And although I wasn’t ready for art museums when I was her baby, and I still have to be careful about over-stimulation, it was a wonderful day filled with color and light and movement.

And lovely bus companions. Hurrah.

Here’s to the Peace of Art Museums. Here’s to more thought-provoking Beauty.




Fog Dancers for Peace

My walking partner and I keep getting stopped on our morning walk by the beauty of the river. This morning we sat and watched the sun come up and spill across the river.

I struggle with the early mornings. But waking up and being present to such beauty is a lovely way to call my day into being. Let’s hear it for wonder.

Yesterday’s fog dancers did not drift across the river this morning, the sun was too bold; they are too shy… But this time of month as the nights are colder than the river, they will be back and back and back. You can count on them.

There’s beauty in every day, every season. We have to keep looking.

Here’s to the Beauty. Here’s to the Fog Dancers. Here’s to Peace.


Reading, Peace, Reading

When I was a tender seminarian I heard William Sloan Coffin (recently retired as minister at Riverside Church in NYC and formerly the Yale chaplain who started Clergy and Laity Concern during the the VietNam War) speak about being involved with what’s going on in the world.

Coffin talked about the importance of being involved. At the end someone stood up and said, great for you, you’re on the speaker circuit… You blow in, blow up and blow outta town (ah you gotta love a hall full of ministers!).

Coffin admired the hit and then asked… how many of you have read a book on something other than ministry? How many of you have read a serious book this year. Less than 25% raised their hands.

And he said, yeah… no excuse for that. That’s part of your ministry.

I admit his seeds fell on fertile ground. I love reading. And I believe it’s important. And I’m lucky that the UUs feel it’s important and that my congregation agrees. And so I take this time very seriously and stuff my brain — with things that pertain to what we’re up to and to what I think I and all of us might need to think of. And with things that are going on and we can’t help but look at. There’s so much to wonder about. So much hard (reading) work to do.

So reading. I find Peace in it. In its turn it stirs me to look for Peace. It’s a cycle I’m lucky to be able to indulge. Just a couple weeks of stuffing ahead, and then look out world! I’m back! Wake up world! Time to step up!


Peace Challenges on a Quiet Sabbath Morning

Life has curve balls. Always. Sometimes, I guess we could have seen them coming, other times, we’re totally caught off guard.

But nonetheless, there are challenges. It’s not what we want to know. it’s not what we want to be facing. Sometimes we can share what’s going on and get support and other times we’re pretty much on our own.

In the midst of those things, we need to be tender with ourselves.

We might also want to consider that others are living confusing, challenging lives. Which means that the people getting on our last nerve may also be having problems, and that might cause us, if we’re to be generous and kind, to be a bit more tender with them. (And if not it confuses them!)

So, on this hot and sunny sabbath, I wish you wonder, contemplation and joy. And Peace. I wish us all Peace. Peace that is graced to us, Peace that we make. And, where I am, the Moon has been beautiful these last few nights and the pictures of garden bounty filling FaceBook are incredible. So as the Moon burgeons and swells, I hope you get great big gulping views of it! Summer Moons…. mmmmm. nothing more romantic.



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.