Celebrating Earth!

“EARTH.  A sphere; a type of eternity and immortality, which are likewise without beginning or end…To material sense, earth is matter; to spiritual sense, it is a compound idea.” – Mary Baker Eddy

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” – Genesis 1: 31

For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” – Isaiah 55: 12

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Today I celebrate all of my Father-Mother God’s beautiful creation – all the glories of forest and meadow, mountain and sea, desert and valley and dale. I celebrate the infinite expression of God, Good – the beauty, harmony, and life that are evidence and proof of Good.  Today I recognize and appreciate The Artist’s work, I rejoice in it, take note of it, and re-commit myself to protecting it.

***

“Nature voices natural, spiritual law and divine Love,  but human belief misinterprets nature. Arctic regions, sunny tropics, giant hills, winged winds,  mighty billows, verdant vales, festive flowers,  and glorious heavens, – all point to Mind, the spiritual intelligence they reflect. The floral apostles are hieroglyphs of Deity. Suns and planets teach grand lessons.  The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light.” – Mary Baker Eddy

Presence is needed to become aware of the beauty, the majesty, the sacredness of nature…You have to put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems, of past and future, as well as your knowledge; otherwise, you will see but not see, hear but not hear.  Your total presence is required.” – from The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

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Hope and an Expectancy of Good

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all…

– Emily Dickinson

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

. – Hebrews 11:1

***

I never really appreciated “hope” when I was younger. I thought it was kind of a weak thing, to tell you the truth – something born out of desperation and helplessness – a thing that people talked about when they were expecting the worst, but “hoping for the best.” But I’ve come to believe that there are actually two kinds of hope – there’s the kind I just mentioned, and there’s another kind – the kind of hope that expects good, expects the best, and is always open to see answers and solutions, beauty and love, and everything incredible in life – the kind of hope that makes its own “miracles.”

In her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy defines “MIRACLE” as “That which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science. “  Eddy writes, ““A miracle fulfills God’s law, but does not violate that law…” and she says, “Now, as then (in Jesus’ time), these mighty works (healings) are not supernatural, but supremely natural…We must learn that evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence. Evil is not supreme; good is not helpless; nor are the so-called laws of matter primary, and the law of Spirit secondary.”

The truly hope-filled person isn’t weak, desperate, or discouraged. The hope-filled person is, I think, a person who knows how to recognize all the good around her, and who can open herself up to it, and avail herself of it. The hope-filled person has made the discovery that things always get better, that it really is “darkest before the dawn” and that there is an answer to every problem. Hopeful people are open to the moment, are spontaneous, and joy-filled. The hope-filled person has learned she can trust in, and rely on, God (Good, Love, Truth) every single time. She doesn’t plea, she doesn’t beg, she knows.

For myself, I have found that when I consciously go through life with hope and an expectancy of good it brings a certain “magic” into my day.

My recent interest in photography has taught me a lot about having an “expectancy of good.”  If I go out with my camera, expecting to see magic in every moment, I find treasures all around me. There’s no way I can tell you exactly what I’m going to see on my walks – an expectancy of good doesn’t carry that kind of limitation with it, but is open to everything – I can’t stage the eagles, herons, and otters for myself – but I can know that there’ll be some treasure in every moment that will bring me joy.

There is power in confident hope. There is initiative, rather than inertia; patient waiting, rather than helpless waiting. There is an expectancy of good.

Declare everything good for yourself; expect everything good now.” – Edward A. Kimball

An Evening’s Walk

 

“…in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…” – Isaiah 30:15

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still, And there was a great calm. – Mark 4: 39

Evening. Mistiness of mortal though; weariness of mortal mind; obscured views; peace and rest. – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

***

I went for a walk this evening.  When I left the house, darkness was descending, but hadn’t completely fallen, yet. I’ve found that there is often a calm and quiet at that time of the day. Most people are safely ensconced in their homes, either making dinner or eating it, and I usually don’t run into anyone else on my evening walks. I have my rural neighborhood to myself, and there is usually peace.

But tonight I didn’t feel the peace right away. As I started my walk, I found myself replaying the events of the day. It had been a long one. The day had been filled with a lot of busy-ness, decisions, human opinion, and human dialogue.  In my head, I played over again the conversations, decisions, and opinions, and tried to determine my own place in all of it.  I probably could have spent my entire walk playing and replaying the events of the day, but something happened – I’m not sure what, exactly – that made the conversation in my head suddenly cease, and made me stop in my tracks.  And when I stopped a phrase from the Bible came to me: “Peace, be still…” 

The phrase from the Bible was followed by the reassuring words from an old hymn: “All will be well.”  Words from God, I thought, and then kind of mentally rolled my eyes at myself. No, I corrected myself, it’s just me talking to myself again, wanting to believe all will be well, and then telling myself it’s God talking to me. Yeah… but , I argued, isn’t any thought that brings me peace or reassurance or hope a message from Love, God? If God is just another name for Love, Truth, and Life, as Mary Baker Eddy says in the Christian Science textbook, then isn’t any thought that comes from Love, Truth, and Life a message from God? Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “The intercommunication is always from God to His idea, man.”  And, if she’s right about this, wouldn’t that mean that the only true communication, the only real communication, the only communication that ever matters, is the communication that comes from Love, Truth, and Life?

Peace, be still.

I stopped arguing with myself, and listened.  The frogs were croaking a song in the field next to me.  A breeze rustled the branches overhead.  A flock of ducks took off from the pond on the other side of the road, and I could hear their wings flapping.  The silhouette of an owl launching itself from a tree caught my vision.  And I could smell the faint scent of spring blossoms in the air. And it occurred to me that maybe all these things were examples of God communicating to me.  In fact, maybe Love and Life are continually sending me messages of peace and hope, and I just need to stop and listen.

All will be well, the voice came again.  There may be challenges ahead.  There may be storms and confusion, sorrow and pain – but – look at me – keep your eyes on me – all will be well.  Okay, I said, nodding my head. I’ll keep my eyes focused on Love. I’ll keep my ears tuned in to Truth. I’ll walk with confidence through the days ahead.  All will be well. All, all is well.

By the time I’d finished my conversation with myself, it was dark. In a few minutes I would be back home, the phone would ring – and I would discover that the day’s busy-ness, conversation, and human opinions were not yet finished with me.  But I’d gained something on my evening’s walk – I had something now that I hadn’t had when I’d walked out the door forty minutes before.  I had peace.

***

We expect a bright tomorrow,

All will be well;

Faith can sing through days of sorrow,

All must be well;

While His truth we are applying,

And upon His love relying,

God is every need supplying,

All, all is well. – Mary Peters