Minding Our Spirits

 

Creating a Personal Sanctuary

 

Sanctuary”: a place of refuge or safety.

I’ve thought a lot about this word during the past few months.

I’ve been feeling exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally exhausted. I’m usually pretty resilient and resourceful. But now it seemed that everywhere I turned there was uncertainty.  I know friends and family who thrive in times like these and I envy their natural buoyancy. I’m not of this breed. My ideal environment is predictable, orderly, and secure. And right now that ideal isn’t easily sustained.

That’s when I started to think seriously about the word “sanctuary”. I began to feel that this was exactly what I needed. I ordered and read beautiful books on the subject. I listened to TedTalks. I scoured the internet for information.  And I did learn a lot from all of these. They educated me on how to create quiet physical spaces in which I could place objects that would calm me and inspire a peaceful state of mind – things like a candle, a soft pillow, a framed photo of a loved one or meaningful setting, a rosary or other meditation mala, a trinket to evoke a […]

2020-06-30T09:12:50+00:00June 30th, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|0 Comments

Minding Our Spirits

Be Careful With The Crumbs

Here, this morning, my mind travels to a short poem by Gunilla Norris that I found in a beautiful book, Midwives of an Unnamed Future by Mary Ruth Broz, RSM and Barbara Flynn. You may find me quoting passages from these pages many times as we walk this journey together. The photos in the book are as inspiring as are the words.

This lovely little poem, “Even Crumbs are Bread”, is one I’ve committed this to memory…I often have to remind myself to “be careful with the crumbs”.

Be careful with the crumbs.

Don’t overlook them.

Be careful with the crumbs:

The little chances to love.

The tiny gestures, the morsels

That feed the minims.

Take care of the crumbs

A look, a laugh, a smile,

A teardrop, an open hand.  Take care

Of the crumbs.  They are food also.

Do not let them fall.

Gather them.  Cherish them.

How many times over the past three months, when I’m feeling sad and frustrated, have I relied on these beautiful words to bring me back […]

2020-06-01T15:51:42+00:00June 2nd, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|1 Comment

Weavers, All

 

There’s a lot we can learn from spiders.

As I sit here at my desk waiting for a blast of inspiration, something shimmering in the morning light attracts my attention. I’ve told you I’m easily distracted and here is proof positive. There on the window ledge, between the storm and screen, drapes a beautiful work of art…and I behold!. An industrious spider is spinning a brand-new web. As she works, her creation becomes covered with glistening gems of morning dew. My wandering mind starts doing its thing.

I remember learning that while most all spiders have the ability to produce silk, it’s only the females of certain species that can spin these amazing webs. (If you’re an arachnologist reading this and it isn’t true, I sincerely apologize. Please correct me by using the comment button below.)  As I try to follow her strands from one connection to the next, it doesn’t surprise me that this is the work of a female. This intricate creation requires planning, patience, the need to unite, connect, relate.  Sound familiar?

As I muse about weaving and connecting, I am reminded now of the Navaho weavers – creators of incredibly […]

2020-05-26T15:02:55+00:00May 21st, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|7 Comments

The Ties That Bind

        

Pre pandemic, I joined a few friends at lunch to celebrate the birthday of another dear friend.  As I think back on this happy gathering, I am filled with warmth and gratitude – so thankful that I have such a friend and that I had the opportunity to let her know how much I appreciate her friendship. I have celebrated many birthdays during my 75 years – mine and many others.  But for some reason, this one gave me pause.

Maybe it’s age…no maybe – I’m sure it is.  I’m much more appreciative now of occasions like these.  No longer do I take them for granted.  With all life’s “busy-ness” behind me, I can slowly embrace and hold tightly all these wonderful little times spent with those who bring joy to my life.   I pray the reverse is true!

So,  as I think about by closest friends, I decide that for my purposes here, I’ll exclude all my loved and dearest family members.  There are so many of them – my dear husband and friend of so many years, our beautiful children, their spouses and kids, my amazing sisters and […]

2020-05-26T15:00:32+00:00May 11th, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|3 Comments

“Beholding” Makes a Difference

 

 

A few weeks ago, I was reading Mary Oliver’s poetry collection, Red Bird.  In it she offers this short poem which she calls Instructions for Living a Life.  It reads, in total…

Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about it.

How very simple, I thought.  Could it really all boil down to just this?  Could a purposeful, meaningful life be had simply by following this modest formula?  Eyes closed, deep breath, I thought about her words, one phrase at a time.

Pay attention. How many times have we heard these two words?  Usually they are uttered by someone in authority, in a stern voice,  as if there will be consequences if ignored.  But now I was thinking of them differently…

At the end of last year, a dear uncle  – the last family member of his generation – passed away.  During the beautiful celebration of his long and well lived life, in conversation with his son (also Ed),  I commended my cousin for his unwavering devotion to his father.  My uncle was a member of the greatest generation and fought battles in both France and Germany.  His son relived those experiences with him, […]

2020-05-26T14:53:17+00:00April 30th, 2020|Minding Our Spirits|8 Comments