Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sitting in church

I did not make it to church today, instead it came to me in the peace of early light. The parishioners gathered, as I entered and sat on my doorstep pew in the morning chill - a gentle breeze, swaying leaves talking amongst themselves, an occasional squirrel, daddy-long-legs, slender threads of golden sunlight dancing in patches on the lawn, and our dear cat Simon (though he paid little attention to the homily as dry skittering maple leaves round-danced distracting him). The choir of birds chirped and sang hymns of praise each in its own voice. I do love this church with a dome of sky for a roof, welcoming all who open their hearts and minds. The sermon was peaceful, its message spoken without words straight to my soul. I am grateful beyond measure for the blessings big and small in life, for the kindness of others, for babies and children and elders and all between, for sweet love, for sometimes tears, for laughter, for lessons learned (and learning still), for good health, and for meaningful work. The list is long, my gratitude great. Today is all ours, yesterday done and graded, tomorrow merely potential. The benediction simply to go and love one another.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Blessings of a hilltop sanctuary

Earth has risen from its slumber and donned verdant attire. The view from the hilltop both heals and inspires me. Everything is alive and busy fulfilling the opportunities presented. This is my favorite time, when the introspection of winter gives way to action. The months spent pondering need to find purpose or it will just be forgotten. The hilltop is my refuge, sanctuary, and classroom. I love this hill where I come to sit, to observe, to pray, to relax. I can see so far away... the glory of sunrises, the beauty of sunsets, the full moon rising at day's end and setting serenely at dawn, storms gathering in the distance, holiday fireworks in at least 5 towns, the natural world going about its business... it is so wonderful and enriching here. I offer tobacco, burn sage and cedar, pray and listen. Some of my father's ashes are scattered here. Just down the hill is an orchard planted when my youngest was born. The house, the creek, the memories woven through time... they are precious to me. This place is so dear to my heart. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have spent time here learning and living and finding my way along the good path. It has been a healing balm.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

     When Creator chose woman to carry the future of our human race he knew she was the best candidate for the job. He gave each one different combinations of his most precious gifts: love, patience, foresight, perseverance, creativity, eyes that see beyond the obvious, compassion, resourcefulness, and much more. To those who may have seemed to get the short end of the stick he gave them a double dose of humor to see them through. Creator didn't require all to give birth in order to be a mother either, some chose their children, some even chose children regardless of their backgrounds and loved them as their own. The line of women stretches back into the mists of time.

     For all the women in my life who have helped to make me who I am today and those who believed in me even when I couldn't believe in myself I say a very grateful thank you. You are the golden sunlight that fills my spirit, the wind beneath my wings, the ones who taught me how to be a strong woman, that shared of their time and talents, my lady relatives by blood or heart, my dear friends, and the ones who fill my basket so I could have something to give away to others - you are amazing women. I love you all. Happy Mother's Day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Evening prayers on the hilltop. Once the petitions, listening, and expressions of gratitude were complete I rested in the last rosy, long rays of day's end. I heard Cicadas complaining about the rising humidity that comes as twilight approaches. I was pleasantly distracted by birds cheerfully singing as they go about gathering the bugs that have hidden during the heat of day. And the grass, drying out from lack of rain, whispered hush as a milder southern breeze swayed them back and forth. This is when I hear the lessons the earth offers. Tonight it was just to rest in the beauty, to soak it in with gratitude that we have such peace right where we are if we only stop and allow ourselves to find the quiet within. Creator knows what we need and speaks to us if we are willing to listen. It is a healing time, both through prayer and by letting the chatter of the day go with the setting sun.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Once I was...

Once I was the smallest child
Once I was forever under foot
Once I was truly a handful
Now I am grown

Once I was the potato peeler
Once I was the dish washer
Once I was the laundry helper
Now I am a mother

Once I was the baby rocker
Once I was the story reader
Once I was the boo-boo mender
Now I am a grandmother

Once I lived near the sea
Once I lived near my relatives
Once I planned to always remain close
Now I am so far away )-:

Brenda 2011

Where I'm From

I am from sea-washed sandy soil, from Corn Flakes and fresh, sweet raspberries.

I am from a tiny, crowded, but happy, run down cottage.

I am from the humble yet fragrant mayflowers that grow under the dry leaves along dirt roads in second growth woods, a mix of crow pine and red oak.

I am from Sunday dinners followed by a family drive in the car, and generosity, from Clan Hunter, Clan Anderson, Bearse and Buck and Frost and people who didn’t feel the need for last names.

I am from the old school recyclers who lived in a world of make-do and those who never held back when someone needed something.

From grandparent’s loving teachings, ripe with metaphors and hand-me-down traditions, from those who wove amazing stories out of thin air.

I am from meek Unitarian Universalists, from parishioners of the Church of Scotland, and before them from those who worshiped in a church whose members were of all nations of beings: winged and four-legged, those that swim, and those who crawl, those with roots that hold them still, and the elder stones who have watched since the beginning of time.

I'm from Cape Cod, fresh caught fish, thick and creamy clam chowdah, and homemade oatmeal bread.

From the Wampanoag Tribe that stood on the wintry shore watching the foreign ships approach, and the tired Pilgrims who left everything familiar and ventured forth with hope for a second chance.

I am from the newer end of the branches of the family tree with leaf sets of my own who have their own tiny buds. I am from stories told and stories woven, from names in archives of towns settled, carved on weather worn slate headstones on hills overlooking the cold Atlantic, names included in genealogies of poets and presidents, among those names were sachems, spiritual leaders, those falsely accused of witchcraft, craftspeople, sea captains, warriors, fishermen, scrimshanders, carpenters, strong women, farmers, and those destined to wander.

Our common histories are woven in a richly colored shawl of tradition that is mine to continue weaving and then pass down, a strand at a time in stories to eager ears caught up in the magic of our seaside heritage.

Brenda 2011