Brigid’s Day

Today is Brigid’s Day. The patron saint of poets, healers, and fugitives. And tomorrow is Brigid’s Day. Celtic goddess of the flame and of the well. Tell me, friends, how will you keep your fire stoked today? How will you keep your well filled with life?

“And the day has its feet to it that will see me coming
into the hearts of men and women like a flame upon dry grass,
like a flame of wind in a great wood…” – Fiona MacLeod

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Small Things the Reflect Light

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A dear friend of mine and I were talking about the antidote to a toxic climate in this election. I’ve resolved to come up with one or two or more, much like the rriiiiipppping! sound of tearing off a prescription in a doctor’s office. My first prescription for myself was a poignant reading written by Richard Rohr on his “Center for Action and Contemplation” site.  My second one is this: small things that reflect light. What small things all around you are reflecting light today . . . including you?

Feel free to post a picture or description on this site- let’s share the love, and the light!

 

A New Year Heavy with Desire

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As I cross the threshold into 2014, I don’t want to heave across my shoulders a backpack full of resolutions, but a backpack heavy with desire. Let me explain. Resolutions, even good ones, like eating healthier, volunteering more, spending quality time with important people in our lives are just that: resolutions. “I resolve to do this!” But, in reality, I can resolve and resolve, but inevitably, as I learned this year, there are many things out of my control. I have quietly, in essence, resolved to fail in the things that wash unasked for and ephemerally out of my hands.

But desire is another thing. If my backpack is heavy with desire, it blushes with the things I truly want to accomplish, experience, and enjoy-  oozes with it even. And often it is double-heaped with twin deeper desires. For example, “I desire to write a memoir this year” becomes (deeper desire), “so that I can bring a little bit more healing into the world by giving hope through my own experiences.” Or, “I desire to eat healthier” becomes “I desire to learn more about my body and become a better caretaker of it so I can live my life more fully.” Working with the contents of your load can ripen the fruits you hold within.

So I’ve resolved this year (o.k., not resolved, but desired) to heap my bag full of desires. Which, I know from past experience, if not completely fulfilled, will often wonderfully transform into stepping stones, pathways, and bridges into broader envisionings of that initial heaviness- and become so sweet, so full-flavored, and eventually, so deeply satisfying.

Timeless in Ordinary Time

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Many Native Americans call those things that are nourishing, healing, and wisdom-giving, available to us in the natural world “medicine”. I like this way of seeing because that implies that a spoonful of cure, a helping of wisdom and encouragement is always around us.

I went for a walk early this afternoon, watching the maple leaves whirling down from their attachments, glowing with autumn sun, and thought, “medicine”. Detaching and surrendering into the free fall, the provision of sun and sky, the knowledge of ground warm and certain beneath, and even playing as you go is indeed medicine.

I noticed the reemergence of blackberries as I continued to walk. A lovely surprise after seeing them dry up and wither at summer’s end, just a few weeks ago. Medicine. The surprise re-gathering of our own juices to produce fruit after a time of dormancy gives me hope.

By the end of my walk, the sun was back in full swing, after a morning of chill and heavy grey clouds. This, too, was an elixir. Not only for my body, but for my soul, during this “ordinary time”. The idea that change is always constant- a grey sky gives birth to a sunny day, and a sunny day can curl up under the cover of clouds- can be encouraging when things aren’t going as we would like them to go. At these times, change can be a welcome friend.

What medicine can you find in your own path today?