I was born in the front seat of our car. Dad made it to the hospital driveway. The doctor and nurses came outside on that early, snowy February morning to help Mom and me. One nurse took my 11 month old sister, one nurse took me, one nurse took Mom, and Dad went to the ER to have his broken thumb looked at.
Last month I had two unusual encounters with an owl. One afternoon, in the monastery dining room, I heard an unusual snapping of branches and flapping of wings. I ran to one of the windows and discovered a baby owl that was learning to fly. It was a Barred Owl that caused commotion among the sisters. We were afraid it would end up on the ground.
I don't know who wrote this story and don't recall where I found it. If you happen to know its author, please get in touch and I will give credit. The Queen's Choice Once upon a time, in a kingdom that probably never really existed, a woman was caught stealing some coins from a local merchant in the market.
I love this time of the year! We have returned to standard time and my circadian rhythms are able to breathe easier again. I experience the invigorating crispness of the clear darkness of early morning, steam coming from my mouth and nose as I take the bin of used coffee grounds out to the compost. The majority of the leaves have fallen to the ground, allowing the deciduous trees to show off their sculpted, naked physiques.
Human beings like to ask, “Why?” Why did that earthquake happen? Why does it rain so much in the Pacific Northwest? Why do people have to suffer? “Why?” can be a rather useless, unhelpful question. Many times it simply cannot be answered. Frustrating. Now, “Y’s” are everywhere to be seen. Y’s are in trees, bushes and architecture. Once you start looking for them, you will see thousands of Y’s around you.
“I (God) am the breeze that nurtures all things green. I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits. I am the rain coming from the dew that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life. ” from Gabriele Uhlein, Meditations with Hildegard of Bingen (Santa Fe: 1982) Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179), a Benedictine Abbess whose reputation as a visionary, healer, scientist, author, speaker, poet, artist, and musician, was well known in her lifetime.
These last years, with the pandemic and the wars, the people of the whole planet have a strong need to mourn all our losses. Our sense of safety and tranquility has been challenged, and we don’t have a communal way of acknowledging, mourning, and processing all these losses. For this, we can return to the wisdom of the ancients—like the Mexican cultures and Benedictine wisdom—and make them new. St. Benedict exhorts us: “Keep death daily before your eyes.
Marcella Pattyn (d. 2013) was touted as the “last beguine. ” Yet, while researching the history of beguines for my book, The Wisdom of the Beguines, I kept hearing word that there were contemporary beguines, but no one knew where, or who, or how to contact them. Then I heard from two beguines outside Dublin and one from Australia. But nothing more.
Have you ever longed for a place of utter quiet? I have. My ears pick up every little (or big) noise. It's a blessing and a curse to have the gift of accute hearing. Many days find me looking for silence--REAL silence. As I sip my morning coffee, enjoying the quiet . . . oops, there goes the commercial refrigerator gearing up its cycle. Sigh. I go to my bedroom to sit in quiet, and . . .
It’s time to talk about the cantaloupe incident. In my defense, I am a reasonably experienced cantaloupe buyer and had never experienced a cantaloupe malfunction. Will this thing go off?! But that Wednesday was the day. I approached the melon table at Safeway innocently enough, having no idea what awaited me. I selected a small watermelon with no difficulty. Then I began looking for a good cantaloupe.