“…the Year that for you waits…”

A Flower unblown: a Book unread:
A Tree with fruit unharvested :
A Path untrod : a House whose rooms
Lack yet the heart s divine perfumes:
This is the Year that for you waits
Beyond Tomorrow s mystic gates.

– Horatio Nelson Power

Flowers and books and harvests, new paths and new friends – 2013 brought me an abundance of all of those things…  my Secret Garden gave me flowers like never before; my work  brought me wonderful new students and colleagues and adventures; and Goodreads tells me I recorded reading 20 new books – amongst them Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Navigation of the Globe, The  Boys in the Boat, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Born to Run, Biocentrism, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Hiroshima, The Aviator’s Wife, Miss Buncle’s Book, and this was the year when I finally discovered Kurt Vonnegut and read his Breakfast of Champions, Sirens of Titan, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Cat’s Cradle. 

And now we stand at the threshold of 2014. What new friends await us on the other side of the door? What new paths will we discover? What new adventures? And what new books?  I’m looking forward to the discovering… 🙂

Time is a mortal thought, the divisor of which  is the solar year. Eternity is God’s measurement of Soul- filled years.  – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

 

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“Drop thy still dews of quietness…”

Drop thy still dews of quietness,

Till all our strivings cease;

Take from us now the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace.

– John Greenleaf Whitter

***

I woke up a few days ago with a really weird harmonic ringing in one of my ears. Whenever I’d talk or sing or hum,  a sort of odd echo – not quite on the same note as my voice – would start ringing and clanging through my head.  It was driving me nuts – comparable to having a bee stuck inside a helmet on one’s head.

It’s Christmas time and –  like all of you – there is a lot going on in my life right now – there are students to teach, church services to conduct, a Christmas caroling party to host, family and friends I want to spend time with – and I began to worry that, with this ringing in my head, I wouldn’t be able to do all I wanted and needed to do in the coming week.  I wondered, too, if this might not be a permanent condition – and how I would be able to function if this ringing never left me.

The first part of the day was really busy for me – there was a pile of Christmas gifts to wrap, and cards and letters to send – and I really was in need of a long walk on the bay, too. By the time afternoon arrived my kiester was dragging.  I made myself a nice cup of herbal tea and sat down at my computer to check up on my online life. And this is when I discovered that I had somehow managed to become one of the targets for a rumor and gossip festival. (I know, right? Seriously?! But the mortal counterfeit of man – not the perfect man of God’s creating, but the bogus one  – does choose to spend his time in some really peculiar ways now and then. )  Ahhh…. no wonder my ears had been ringing! 🙂

I saw what I needed to handle in my thoughts.

The topic of last week’s lesson sermon in Christian Science churches was “God the Preserver of Man” – and it was really helpful to me. In the Responsive Reading we read, “O you afflicted one, Tossed with tempest, and not comforted… You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you. No weapon formed against you shall prosper…” (Isaiah 54)  Later in the lesson-sermon we find this passage from Psalms: “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” And from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy: “All that really exists is the divine Mind and its idea, and in this Mind the entire being is found harmonious and eternal… Look away from the body into Truth and Love, the Principle of all happiness, harmony, and immortality. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts… Universal Love is the divine way in Christian Science.”  As I read these passages, I found myself filled with a feeling of complete and total love towards all of God’s creation – towards all my brothers and sisters. A feeling of peace settled over me.

One of my favorite passages from Science and Health was included near the end of the lesson-sermon “It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established.”

As God’s child, I realized I am invincible and safe – nothing can harm me. I have nothing to fear. Love never leaves me. Truth never abandons me.  And there is never a moment when the clamor and clanging and clashing of human personalities can intrude or separate me – or anyone else – from the peace and joy of God, Love.

By the time I went to bed the ringing in my ear had stopped. I was healed.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. – Luke 2: 14

The Christmas Cat

“Once I was holding her, she stopped hissing and fidgeting, and when I sat down in the car with her, she relaxed against me, laid her head on my arm and began to purr as I petted her head and ears. As the son drove us to the vet’s I sang the song I’d once sung, years ago, to the Christmas Dog. “Everlasting arms of Love, are beneath, around, above…” (words by John R. MacDuff) and the kitty looked up at me with the same look of trust and love that the Christmas Dog had once shown me…”

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

(Originally published on December 19th, 2011)

Yesterday I told you about the Christmas Dog. Today I have a Christmas CAT story to share… 🙂

A few days ago my son came home from his walk with Sam the Dog, to tell me that they’d found a bloodied little calico cat on the side of the road.  She seemed to be injured, wasn’t moving much, had just enough energy to hiss at the dog, but not much energy beyond that. I grabbed a towel (the yellow Pittsburgh Steelers towel my dear in-laws from Pennsylvania sent us several years ago when the Seahaws and the Steelers were duking it out in some bowl game – I figured if any of my towels was going to end up bloody, it might as well be that one) and followed the son to the kitty.

She was curled up on the side of the road…

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Perfect Day Update :)

Follow-up on my last post:

I HAVE had a most perfect day…  listened to Sarah MacLachlan singing Winter’s Night on the drive up to Bellingham, went for a really long walk along the bay, met some new friends (both canine and human), heard the last performer of the season singing at the Farmers’ Market, and right now I am sitting here, laughing and watching the Men in Black with the son (Will Smith just sent that superball thingy ping-ponging around the MIB offices.)

And here’s something I realized today – letting myself feel overwhelmed and depressed and hopeless because there is cruelty in the world, and violence, war, and famine – is not in any way going to help people who are struggling with cruelty, violence, war, and famine.  There are things I CAN do to help – I can donate time and money; I can use what skills and talents I have to give my support to those struggling with oppression; and I can send out my joy and love into the collective consciousness of Good…

The good you do and embody gives you  the only power obtainable. Evil is not power. It is a mockery of strength, which erelong betrays its weakness and falls, never to rise. – Mary Baker Eddy

Beloved children, the world has need of you, —and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. – from Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy

The Perfect Day…

Today I am going to make a perfect day for myself. I’m going to do those things that bring me joy – I’ll take a nice long walk, take some pictures along the way, meet some new friends. I’ll sing my favorite songs. Listen to some Alison Krauss maybe. I’ll find stuff to make me laugh. Put on my sparkly necklace and earrings even thought they won’t match the jeans and cotton shirt that are comfortable for me and that I’ll be wearing with the sparkly spangles. I’ll look for the glory around me – in Nature, in people, in art. It’s going to be SPECTACULAR!!!

(Question: What would a perfect day look like for you? 🙂 )