what takes your breath away?

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

A few weeks ago, as I was making a routine journey back and forth along the busy street I traverse several times a day, I couldn’t help but hear the leaves.  I heard them.  Yes.  That’s what I wrote.  I  h e a r d  them.

They were the deepest, most crimson red they’d ever be this year.  Saturated with beauty and singing their highest notes.  An opera for my ears, a crescendo of color.  Have you ever noticed that?  How autumn leaves are this most vivid, crisp color just before they begin to fade and fall to the ground?

There are so many things like this that take my breath away.

Yesterday marked the winter solstice, the darkest night of the year, and at a time in which we find our world community tempted toward anxiety and despair, when I know so many of us are caught up in the tumult of life, it’s these moments of awe and wonder that fill me with gratitude and propel me forward in hope.  There are kind strangers holding open doors for you.  There are clerks smiling behind cash registers.  There are even drivers nodding and letting you in to jammed city streets, waving back at you, you’re welcome.

There are so many things . . . just listen.

By now the rains have come, and those beautiful leaves have fallen at our feet, a small sacrifice for the springtime flowers to come.  But it has me singing, welcoming the coming light into the world and wondering, what takes  y o u r  breath away?

 

 

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells
And schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

wintercouple

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS, from two or three little birds.

 

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de profundis

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I am meeting with a group of students once a week this quarter, and as is often the case, when I make the long journey from my home to the campus, I wonder to myself as I’m gathering ideas for class, what’s it all for? What am I really doing for these people? Do they need what I have to offer them? Do they even care and my how ludicrous is it that I get paid so much money to talk about dust and bones? Of course, there’s lots of sighing, lots of self pity, a smirk here and there. Petals plucked and tossed into the wind as I gather up the energy to tap dance through yet another punctuation lesson. Nothing excites like a control freak perfectionist armed with punctuation, and I really could talk about that all day, but inevitably my spirit hovers above the classroom laughing as I admit to my students, no one really cares about commas anymore but me. The silly futility of it all can be a seductive trap, but then something happens that wipes all the cynicism away. Someone reminds me that words strung together become story, and that in the telling of our stories, we become who we are meant to be.

Earlier this week a young man contacted me requesting an appointment. He wanted to show me his essay, and I made an effort to be in my office on an off day to assist him. Shy and smiling, he handed me his assignment and [Read more…]

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come to me, and i will fill your heart

FullSizeRender(6)Well, after a few weeks of browsing and prayers of gratitude to the devil (um, amazon) who tempts me with his two day shipping, I have finally selected our Lenten Readalong book: From Ash to Water: Meditations on Lent.

I chose this book because it walks us through the forty day lenten journey, with readings that actually follow the lectionary.  So . . . Nothing extra to read!  That’s always a plus for me.  You’ll learn more about the meaning of Lent and you’ll be invited to reflect on the daily readings and respond with meditation and prayer.  Another plus: No huge projects or scary probing psychological inquiries designed to speed you along on the path to sainthood.  Just quiet reflection.  The author is Fr. Luis Granados, and his writing is straightforward and accessible rather than lofty or philosophical, and his commentary draws us closer to the sacred mysteries of the Paschal Story as it unfolds during Lent.  My hope is that this book will enrich your understanding of the liturgical season and connect you in meaningful ways to the poetry and beautiful celebrations of Lent.  A few minutes each day may not only nourish your spirit but deepen your prayer life.

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So, this is your official invitation to my Lent Party! Order your copy of From Ash to Water and begin by reading the introduction to prepare for Ash Wednesday.  I will keep a reading journal over at The Province of Joy and invite you to come follow me there.  Read my reflections as time allows, and of course, I always welcome two or three (or more) to gather with me!  I so appreciate your comments or even just a quick click of the “like” button because they let me know you are there.  -rebecca.

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe my love for you. I thirst for you. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you–that is how precious you are to me. I thirst for you. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I thirst for you. You must never doubt my mercy, my acceptance of you, my desire to forgive you, my longing to bless you and live my life in you. I thirst for you. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I thirst for you. Open to me, come to me, thirst for me, give me your life–and I will prove to you how important you are to my Heart.

~ Blessed Teresa Calcutta “I thirst,”  From Ash to Water “THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT ‘The Samaritan Woman: Our Desire'” 

 

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