30 Days of Thankfulness – 11/19/17

For the month of November, I’m going to try to include gratitude in all my posts (and post every day.)

Today I’m thankful for all the sometimes forgotten heroes who make life worth living – the firefighters, the police, the mail carriers, the trash haulers, the cooks, the doctors and nurses, the farmers, the electricity workers, the plumbers, and all the government people who give their lives in service. We often never see them and we rarely remember them when hot water comes out of the faucet, and the lights turn on when we flip a switch.

I’m going to try to remember say a prayer of thankfulness for each one as I go about my daily life.

 

Nevertheless, it’s still summer

In the waning days of August, there’s a slight change in the weather. There’s a hint of autumn in the breeze, brushing my cheeks as I walk to the garden. It’s cooler today than it has been for a couple of weeks and I’m glad of the long sleeves on my sweatshirt. The smoke from the wildfires in British Columbia and central Washington that made my nose run and my eyes itch has cleared, thanks to a shift in the wind bringing a marine layer in the mornings and beautiful, deep blue skies in the afternoons.

Even so, the dry, hot weather of a couple of weeks ago, seems to have convinced the trees that it’s almost fall. The locust has been dropping golden leaves on the grass for about a week. Now, one of the oaks across the fence has joined it and the backyard looks like October. I hear the rustle of the leaves on the poplars, and it sounds more like the susurration of the surf than the wind in the trees. The grass on the big lawn is turning golden, as we try to save money on water.

Kids are outfitting backpacks, and breaking in new shoes. Throughout the South the first day of school has already happened.

At the farmer’s market, there’s still corn on the cob, and wonderful, vine-ripened heritage tomatoes. The peaches and apricots are at their peak, and my mouth waters at the smell. The cherries, bright red and golden, lure me to taste their tart-sweet goodness. It won’t be long before the new crop of apples and pears make their appearance.

I hear the chip, chip, chip of the sparrow, remarking that the birdfeeder is empty – oh, and by the way, there’s not enough water in the birdbath for a decent drink, much less, a real dive-in-and-splash bath. It seems like only yesterday that I was able to follow the sounds of the gentleman sparrows as they called for their mates before nesting season – “See, see, pretty, pretty me.” I trust they will be back next spring.

The dying of the summer brings with it nostalgia and a sense of loss. But we still have a few days to play in the sun, and travel, and enjoy ourselves before our world contracts into indoor activities of the winter.

Quest for Mindfulness – 31

To attain peace, what one has to do is to seek that rhythm which is in the depth of our being. It is just like the sea: the surface of the sea is ever moving; the depth of the sea is still. And so it is with our life. If our life is thrown into the sea of activity, it is on the surface. We still live in the profound depths, in that peace. – Hazrat Inayat Khan

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The only ones who can bring peace to the world are those who have found peace within themselves, “the peace which passes understanding” proclaimed by Jesus who also said “The Kingdom of God is within you” and “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

I’m using the writings and encouragement of many people – including the daily common lectionary, this website, and this app, in my Quest for Mindfulness.

 

Quest for Mindfulness – 30

…practicing stillness gets us deeper and deeper into who we really are, beyond ego, beyond personality, beyond biography, beyond senses, beyond thoughts, beyond feelings…It’s definitely worth the effort to reach deep into this miraculous, mysterious and marvelous realm day after day, even moment after moment, breath after breath.

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Psalm 122:8-9

For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
I will seek your good.

I’m using the writings and encouragement of many people – including the daily common lectionary, this website, and this app, in my Quest for Mindfulness.

 

Quest for Mindfulness – 29

When we persevere with the help of a gentle discipline, we slowly come to hear the still, small voice and to feel the delicate breeze, and so to come to know the presence of Love. — Henri Nouwen

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Psalm 148:3-4

Praise the Lord, sun and moon;
praise the Lord, all you shining stars!
Praise the Lord, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

I’m using the writings and encouragement of many people – including the daily common lectionary, this website, and this app, in my Quest for Mindfulness.

 

Quest for Mindfulness – 28

Precious Wildness

The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek. –

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It’s worth it!  It might be difficult, challenging, uncomfortable, even painful at times but … it’s worth it.  Going deep into your mind, heart, body and soul requires courage and commitment. But it’s worth it.  Not only for yourself, but for everyone, for everyone you meet, for everyone else too.  For humans. For animals. For plants. For rocks.  For oceans.  For clouds.  For stars in galaxies millions of light years away.

I’m using the writings and encouragement of many people – including the daily common lectionary, this website, and this app, in my Quest for Mindfulness.

 

Quest for Mindfulness – 27

Let us accept the invitation,

ever-open,

from the Stillness,

taste its exquisite sweetness,

and heed its silent instruction.

— Paul Brunton in Perspectives

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Psalm 91:1-2

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,

who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress;

my God, in whom I trust.”

I’m using the writings and encouragement of many people – including the daily common lectionary, this website, and this app, in my Quest for Mindfulness.