"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe

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Sunday’s Song: Suffice it to Say…Palm Sunday in Taos

I am at one of those places where I have so much to say, but I cannot say it all today. The specifics have to arrange themselves in the shape they want to be, but I am honoring the commitment I made to blog each Sunday of Lent. So, here I am on sketchy WiFi, typing on my phone, my dear friend Care across from me in a lodge room at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House.

I read over my journal entry from yesterday morning. Start today’s entry. Wonder how on earth a day can hold so much. Today held so much. It is one of those times you think How could all of this happen in one day? Abundance. Total abundance.

I am spending this Holy Week in Taos. It is a marker of time that keeps ticking…keeps saying yeah this is the week you were supposed to be in this place at this time.

If I told you everything so far, you might not believe me. Or you might think I’m a bit crazy. Or you might be glad. Choose glad.

The people in my path have been from every end of the pendulum. A wide arc. We are not all kindreds here…believers and unbelievers and all in between abound…but I have decided sometimes we need the disparity to recognize how much good there is. Or how far we might have to go. How much we still have to do. How much one’s presence matters in this world for so many reasons.

Today I saw parishioners process around a town square, people waving palm branches, singing, marking a moment. I saw a policeman far far down the square holding a palm branch. Waving it. And then a child, an armful of branches at the edge of the crowd bringing us lucky bystanders palms. He was in the frame of my lens and a second later his sweet voice Here. Just that.

Here. As in take it, Woman. Or as in the message be here, present right now. Or as in I see you. Or as in you need this.

Later, I see a family walking. The man (son/brother/father?) had his back pocket filled with palms. He was probably the designated carrier for the family. Maybe they were all out for lunch like we were, enjoying the New Mexico sunshine on a crisp bright day. Maybe they were filled with hope. Something about that pocketful of palms. Something that said see this.

I am seeing a lot these days. Knowing every image is leading me to a place I cannot quite see but know it’s worth walking toward…but remembering to worship the moment I am in. The deep moment of place and time…and suffice it to say I am grateful.

I am watching. Listening.



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Sunday’s Song: Springtimes and Sunsets and Startovers

Fourth Sunday of Lent.

Yeah, that Lenten art book I bought with such good intentions? Unread.

The Scripture study I started a couple of Saturdays ago? Haven’t made it back.

Thinking a lot about seasons and cycles and how some things never change.

Decided to start reading through some old journals to help with a project I am working on.

Realized there in black and white that my themes stay constant.

Same ole songs, day in and out.

Was almost discouraged by that. The same things I hope to get better at or stop doing or start doing are there from months, even years ago. Sigh.

Decided to sit and sew for a little while. Let the silence still my mind.

Allowed the mindful repetition of threads turning into rows of pattern remind me that row after row, line after line, a story still takes shape.

Sometimes there are starts and stops and sidesteps. Sometimes there are repetitions.

Maybe there is a break in pattern and something interesting is sewn in. A contrast. Different color. Unique stitch.

Sometimes a mistake creeps in.

But like spring cycles back with its same ole flowers and crickets and fireflies, we still welcome it. We don’t expect something new from it…not really. We just want spring to be spring.

And those sunsets that mark the end of each day…sometimes they seem closer, brighter, dearer. Maybe it is not the sun, maybe it is the viewer.

So. Take stock of your life from time to time, but don’t look back too long.

See what there still is to do…so much!

And just begin again. And again. Until you realize all the same old words have shaped themselves into the story you want them to be.

Start again…

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/21/17 (Tuesday)

I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.”–Leonard Cohen

I am a collector of quotations. Unfortunately, I have not collected them in one place. Instead they are torn from magazines, underlined in books I’ve kept, jotted down on random slips of paper I run across from time to time. 

This Lent, though, I feel a calling to gather. Gather words and sentiments of my own as well as those of others who speak to my heart. 

I’m opening my eyes once again to the reality that life is fleeting. If we are called to keep a record, let’s do it. 

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Lenten Journey: Open Your Eyes (3/10/17) Friday’s Five

I’m bringing back one of my tried and true type of posts today. My Friday’s Five is a simple gratitude list of things from the week.

 I think Lent is a good time to remember that even though we might focus on sacrifice, prayer, and almsgiving during this season, that doesn’t mean  that we should fail to notice the blessings right in front of us. The very efforts we make time for often open our eyes to how interconnected we all are and how the smallest things can lift our spirits.

Five of this week’s remembrances:

1. How Ada greets me when I open the car door. She jumps in and snuggles in my lap before I can move from the driver’s seat. I’m thankful that I do not brush her aside. There is always time to hug a pup.

2. Birdsong. Those moments I hear it and it is not just background  noise. I listen and realize there is another whole level of communication going on–that for many years I missed–by forgetting to listen.

3. Surprise flowers. A college student brought me a bouquet this week because of something I said that made him turn to a writing journal during a difficult week. He said that the words poured out of him and he had never known what writing can do…until now.

4. Mistletoe. There is tons of it in the trees still…it has always lifted my spirits to notice it, even as springtime azaleas and dogwoods compete. 

5. Simultaneously napping babies. This requires no explanation. 

I hope your eyes are opened to blessings of all shapes and sizes and sounds. Happy  Friday. 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey March 8, 2017 (Wednesday)

It is International Women’s Day. How to celebrate? How about this: 

 Think about a woman in your life you did not know a year ago. Call her, write her, text her, go see her. Tell her you are glad she exists. 

Open your eyes to the people  God puts in your path. Really see them. 

And if you are a woman reading this, know you are in this world for a reason. Help another woman see her worth today. 

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/6/2017 (Monday)

For a Monday, today was spectacular. I woke throughout the night, waiting on enough daylight to head out to search for my daughter’s missing dog. When the time finally came, I had my hands filled with posters, tape, sheet protectors since it was raining…all the necessities. Then I opened the kitchen door to see Ada standing there, tail wagging, paws on the glass. A pretty great moment.

I spent the better part of yesterday online; posting info, hoping for a sighting. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who shared my posts and messaged me concern and support.

People opened my eyes to the goodness of humanity. They reminded me how important it is to be present for people in need. I hope I can be that for someone else.

I spent a lot more time today throwing balls and hugging dogs. I was reminded again how fortunate I am that Ada came home safe and sound. Little things like having all your pets where they are supposed to be: a blessing this Lent.

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Open Your Eyes: A Lenten Journey 3/4/2017 (Saturday)

The first week of Lent 2017 is coming to a close. Today was a day of highs and lows. 

Emma, grandchild #2, was baptized today. Such a celebration of love, faith, and family. It was truly a time of joy! I watched as her godparents held her, prayed over her, welcomed her into a family of faith. I watched as her godfather threw money into the air for the other children to catch…a Mexican custom as my daughter in law explained, “so Emma will never be stingy.” I learn so much every day. So much to know!

And, as life has showed me over and over, every  day is not perfect. My daughter’s beloved dog Ada has gone missing. It is unlike her to stray far from our house, but she has been absent for the better part of the day now. I miss her. 

I saw again today how God hears so many prayers in the course of a day because in my litany to him today I was praising him for the gift of baptism, asking him to cure some friends who are fighting cancer, and yes…asking him to please send Ada back to us.

I don’t think we have to prioritize our prayers. God knows what we need before the words even form in our minds. I’m pretty sure he understands love for his creatures, big and small. 

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I only learned in the past few years that Sundays are “little Easters” so we really have a break  from the fasting, penance, and almsgiving of Lent. I find it funny that my mom never mentioned this to me. I guess she knew I needed the structure of continuous sacrifice. 🙂 

Whatever you decide to do tomorrow, I hope you’ll join me in opening your eyes to the gifts of life that we enjoy. I’ll be back here on Monday, God willing.