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I’ve been away from the blog for a couple weeks, finishing up my semester, caught in the whirlwind, keeping my head above water. I haven’t been making gratitude lists, but I’ve been noticing. Instead of the long sustained gratitude practice of noticing several things in a day and keeping them in my memory for evening’s contemplation, I’ve been a grateful butterfly, slipping from flower to flower on a breeze, noticing in the moment and passing on to the next shining thing. I think it’s good to practice this kind of immediate presence as well as the deeper holding of a daily meditative contemplation.

During the last two days, I have been feeling the tug toward the sustained contemplation again, so here, again, is a Gratitude List:
1. This is the season of peonies and foxgloves and naked ladies: The flowers of the Grandmothers. I feel as though the Grandmothers are reminding us that they are still among us. They support our Work.
2. Today’s sermon, and the image of Godde as a child, holding our faces in her dimpled little hands and gazing into our eyes, looking at our wounded parts in awe and wonder, seeing the beauty and tenderness in the parts of ourselves we reject or hide or minimize.
3. Yesterday’s visit from a black rat snake. Such a magical creature. Ellis petted it. We got to watch it slither through the long grass, tasting the air with its tongue.
4. Our Lady of the Flowers is sitting on a nest of lichen and cobweb in the sycamore tree, right where we can watch her from the porch.
5. Changing of season. School is almost over. The grading will get finished. We will go on vacation. I will write. I will share tea and conversation with friends. Green will keep happening.

May we walk in Beauty!

Mulberries


Another version of the moth.

Erf. I got kind of grouchy this evening, trying to give an extremely thick-haired kiddo a haircut. He was twitching his head all around, the mosquitoes were whirring all about our heads, younger brother kept dancing past mashing blueberries all over his own face and trying to get attention, the cat kept pawing at us and crying to be picked up, and it was getting dark. I really want to let my kids get messy and filthy, but I wasn’t very pleasant with the mulberry-faced youngster.

Gratitude List:
1. Mulberry-Picking with my boys. Delightful, though not perhaps the gently quiet experience you might be imagining:
“Hey! That’s MY branch!”
“Mom! He’s shaking mulberries onto my head!”
“Hey Dad! We’re picking mulberries!” (Dad’s about two full acres away.)
Addressed to a mulberry: “I am going to call you Daryl. Stay with me now, Daryl!”
“Daryl–this is your cousin Bob.” Etc., etc., etc.
2. Knowing we’ll have bags of frozen mulberries for smoothies.
3. Robin’s rain-song
4. Serious talks with the kids. I was paging through some Facebook pages while Ellis was looking over my shoulder. He wanted me to stop and look at the article about raising feminist boys with him. It led to some great discussions.
5. In some ways, tonight is actually the real beginning of summer vacation. While I do still have to clean my room and grade my papers, I don’t have to wake up tomorrow morning and go anywhere right away. I am on my own schedule now. No Sunday afternoon panic. The weight is lifted.  And, I have more energy right now than I remember having at this point in previous years. Even though this year’s grading was more stressful for me than ever, I still feel much more motivated to do the work I need to do.

May we walk in Beauty!

Jiggety Jig

ship
Ship carved into the wall of the Timothy Hill House, the oldest house on Chincoteague Island.

What songs shall we sing
when the dawn has come creeping
silently over
the ridges and the mountains
through a summer veil of haze?

Gratitude List:
1. Home again, home again. Safely. Settling back in.
2. Seeing Fred again.  We all missed him.
3. Those enormous walnut limbs that fell while we were away didn’t fall on little Pippi the Prius.
4. Vacation.  This one feels like those space trips that use the gravitational force of the moon to go further into space.  This trip to Chincoteague has given me renewed energy to get my work done.
5. Waking up to the sounds of home.

May we walk in Beauty!