“Love has rolled the stone away…”

 

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Took an early morning walk and when I stepped out of the house I found myself totally immersed in birdsong, and the smells of blossoms and new green growing things. Started singing the Easter song to myself (with words by Frances Thompson Hill): “Let us sing of Easter gladness that rejoices every day. Sing of hope and faith uplifted, Love has rolled the stone away…” And as I got to that part in the song there was a break in the clouds, and the sunshine landed on my face – warm and reassuring – a blessing, a benediction…

        Glory be to God, and peace to the struggling hearts! Christ hath rolled away the stone from the door of human hope and faith, and through the revelation and demonstration of life in God, hath elevated them to possible at-one-ment with the spiritual idea of man. – Mary Baker Eddy

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I’m thinking about the stone that Love has been rolling away from my heart over the years – the ego, blame, self-will, guilt, fear, anger, selfishness, sense of being “put upon” and treated unfairly – and, though there’s still more stone-rolling needed in my consciousness, I’m so very grateful for the progress so far – so grateful for the light that’s reached me – so very glad to be alive – to be able to experience the birdsong and blossoms and sunshine of an Easter morning.

And here’s a cool thing – hope, renewal, love, joy – those things don’t need to be limited to some traditional church holiday, do they? Haleleujah, brothers and sisters! 🙂  We can have the glory of an Easter morning EVERY day…

…Every day will be an Easter 
Filled with benedictions new. – Frances Thompson Hill

 

 

Tulip Town 2014

“Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?”

However many years she lived, Mary always felt that she should never forget that first morning when her  garden began to grow.

If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.

And the Secret Garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.

– from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Spring has arrived in my corner of Washington State with a celebration of brilliant color and new life and sweet smells. On Monday morning I set out on my annual sojourn to Tulip Town – I figured that if I waited until after the weekend was over, and got there really early, I’d miss the crowds. And I did! And it was glorious!

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. – from Science and Health with key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

“Kinship with All Life”

I went out to my garden and the bunny was there again… I was really close to him… he sprang up and looked like he was ready to race away, but I started singing to him and after a moment or two he got himself comfortable and stayed until I was finished singing. I love that bunny…

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I just finished reading Kinship with All Life, by J. Allen Boone, and I so enjoyed it….

J. Allen Boone relates how he was able to open communication with all manner of creatures – starting with Strongheart, the great movie star dog, and then moving on to ants, a family of skunks, and Freddie the fly. In essence, what he tells us is that he had to learn to get rid of his stereotypes and prejudice about his fellow creatures, stop looking on them as inferior beings, and start talking to them “horizontally” rather than down.

Boone writes: “I had to discard my eyeballs as reliable reporting factors… and to begin using my thinking to see with… our five organs of sense give us a kind of ‘feel’ of the universe and the various things that it contains, but they do not help us to experience things as they really are… The great spiritual explorers who have searched for the real facts behind all appearances have told us that the universe is faultless in its conceptions, faultless in its purpose, and faultless in its operation.” Boone continues…”… behind every object which the senses can identify, whether the object be human, animal, tree, plant or anything else, and right where the object seems to be, is the mental and spiritual fact functioning in all its completeness and perfection.”

Boone talks about the difference between an animal trainer and an animal educator. A trainer uses the “make ’em or break ’em technique” – employing a reward-and-punishment process with the animal. But the educator is entirely different. Boone writes:”The animal educator does just the reverse of all this. Moving into the situation with insight and intuition, he places full emphasis on the mental rather than on the physical part of the animal. He treats it as an intelligent fellow being whose capacity for development and expression he refuses to limit in any direction.” Writing about Larry Timble’s technique in transforming Strongheart into the star he became, Boone writes: “Trimble discovered that deep within the big combat dog, but solidly imprisoned there, was a wealth of magnificent character qualities. Those talents and graces, buried beneath the dog’s tough physical exterior, did not need to be developed but liberated. That is what Trimble proceeded to do.”

Boone talks about the important lesson he learned from a fly he named Freddie: “Before Freddie the Fly came to live with me, my decreeing about flies had been supplying me with a continuous harvest of disagreeable and troublesome results. I expected flies to be unfriendly, and they were. I expected them to annoy me, and they did. I expected them to bite me, and they accommodated me in that manner too. With the accuracy and precision of an echo, I had been getting back in ourward experience just what I had been mentally and vocally decreeing and expecting… Freddie was nothing more or less than the state of my own consciousness about him being made manifest in an outward experience”

There are some really valuable lessons there, I think.

I had an epiphany one morning. I think it’s something that a lot of people recognize on some level and it’s nothing new I’m going to say, but I am going to say it anyway. 🙂

You know how when you look up at the stars at night you get the feeling that you’re a part of something really amazing and awesome? And, for me, it feels like I’m part of some big purpose, too. 

So when I had my epiphany I was sitting on a boulder on a beach on the Puget Sound – I had the beach entirely to myself – and as I looked out at the water, and watched the little sea creatures in the tidal pool next to me, I got that same feeling – that I’m part of something awesome, and that I’m part of some universal purpose. And it came to me that the purpose of everything, the purpose of the universe, is to love. And everything else – the mistakes we make, and the struggles we have – if those things lead us to understand love better, and lead us to love more – then that’s all that matters, really. 

And right after my epiphany, this family came around the corner, and their dog came barreling straight for me and leaped on me and licked my face and just showered his slobbery love on me… it was great!

Those times when I’ve encountered and connected with expressions of life on its own turf, beach, and limb have been magic for me – as cool as meeting and communing with aliens from another planet…

 

All of God’s creatures, moving in the harmony of Science, are harmless, useful, indestructible. – Mary Baker Eddy

Tickled by Life

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. – Tecumseh

This morning I woke up without plans, a schedule, an agenda, or expectations – my thoughts completely open to whatever treasures the day might have in store for me…

Soon I found myself at the dining room table, thinking this might be a good time to work on taxes. I worked my way through wages, interest income, and the tuition deduction, and began working away on royalties. I added up print book royalties, e-book royalties, income from my husband’s photography, and from mine, and then it occurred to me that I’d sold nine audiobooks during 2013. I figured I’d probably made a buck off each book, and it had all been automatically deposited in my account at some point. It almost didn’t seem worth the effort to track it down, but being the responsible, conscientious tax-paying citizen I am, I went in search of some record of my audiobook royalties. I finally dug up this humongo envelope – a foot long and almost a foot wide – that I’d received from the audiobook publishing company back in October, and never opened. I thought maybe there’d be some record of royalties in there. But when I opened it up I found a check for $27 waiting for me! It had been issued on October 11th, and would be void in 180 days. After a quick calculation I realized it was within days of being voided out – if I hadn’t started working on my taxes this morning, I never would have found that check in time!

I felt like I was looking at an unexpected gift – I had the same feeling you get when you find cash in your pocket that you forgot you put there.

I went to the bank, cashed the check, and bought myself some geraniums and marigolds for the flower boxes on our back deck. And now I’m sitting here, looking out on our deck, admiring the cheery newly-planted little flowers smiling back at me.

That little $27 check totally tickled me today. And it reaffirmed for me what I’ve already discovered – I can’t always know what form Love’s supply of good is going to take for me, but I can trust that there will always be something to tickle my heart. This week the tickling came in the form of an unexpected check, and a wave returned from a passenger on an Amtrak train as it zipped by, and meeting a new friend while I was looking for agates on a beach in Oregon, and getting a call from an old never-before-met-in-the-person friend saying she was going to be in Vancouver in two days on business and asking if we could meet for the first time face-to-face. It has been a great week.  I expect it will be a great week next week, too. 🙂

Happiness often sneaks through a door you didn’t know you left open. – John Barrymore

An Agate Addict Speaks Out

To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,

And Eternity in an hour.

– William Blake

When I was in fourth grade my teacher, Mr. Whittle, loaded us all up on a bus and took us to a hill near Tenino, Washington, where we took out shovels and proceeded to dig for agates. I knew a little something about agates before we went to Tenino – my dad’s a geologist and he introduced me to Rock Basics – obsidian, pumice, quartz, granite, petrified wood, and agates. But actually having the opportunity to get out a shovel and dig for my own agate-treasure kindled in me the beginnings of an agate addiction.

Later – when I was in my early twenties – I would now and then visit my beloved Aunt Junie on the Oregon coast. Junie taught me the art of beach agate-hunting. The trick, she showed me, is to scan over the beach while you’re facing towards the sun – the agates glow as the sun shines through them, and they pop out at you. When I married my husband, I showed him the art of agate-hunting, too, and on our annual pilgrimages to the Oregon coast agate-hunting became one of our favorite pastimes.

After I became a middle school teacher I used the agates we found as Christmas gifts for my students. I’d call my students up one-by-one, and tell them to pick out one agate from my agate bowl that “spoke to them” – this was their “magic agate” and they were to keep their agates forever and every time they looked at them remember how much I loved them. Then I’d take a moment while my students were holding their agates in front of their classmates to tell each of them what I loved about them. Every now and then I run into students I had years ago who make a point of letting me know they still have their “magic agates.” That means a lot to me.

This week my husband and I once again made our annual pilgrimage to the Oregon coast – and lookee what I found… 🙂