Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Storms In Arkanasa

I’ve checked in with my friends in Little Rock, Arkansas. Tales of “just missed” danger, lightning strikes and power failures have me exceptionally thankful for the blue skies outside my windown.

My friends are safe. Many others are not. Harm has come to many and death to others whose loss will long be felt.

Such troubles might seem a world away from you today. Perhaps you know no one in Arkansas. Maybe its even news to you that the storms have been so severe there.

There are storms every where. Raging in many different ways. The cranky stranger whole stole your parking space may be in the midst of a storm so wild and dangerous. The storm that blows them right into unkind actions and unacceptable behavior. Your hIstory kicks up storms: a memory, long dormant, arrives in full gale force and impacts your day.

Little Rock residents are poised for storm watches. They endure them. Most of them live through them, repair their wind-damaged homes and go along until the next time. So it is with all the unbridled forces of nature we encounter in our lives. The storm comes. We check for our own safely and then we reach out to our friends with, “Are you okay?”

Today, out my window, the harbor is calm. The boats sit, still. There are other days out this window when it appears I might be blown right off this rock of an island I live upon. In this window of quiet I know today, my heart goes out to those braving storms of all sorts, all over the world. May you be heartened by these inspiring, uplifting quotes…

I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship. Louisa May Alcott

“Not one of us has any impact on the nature of the weather, present or incoming. We only have one front to govern, the weather of our hearts. mary anne radmacher”

“The perspective I choose becomes the anchor for my ship in the midst of a gale. mary anne radmacher”

EARTH DAY – How Far We’ve Come

“REALLY?  One more thing to add to an already crammed day,” the busy mother asks as she reviews

the suggested Earth Day events sent home with her daughter’s homework assignments.

Go gentle into that busy day, dear souls!

 

Earth Day is not an opportunity to pack your day with yet ONE MORE THING to do – but rather to observe and honor all the ways you contribute to the health of the planet.  When I was dubbed “Recycling Queen” many decades ago, RE USE was considered quirky and not all that popular.  And finding 100% recylced paper was an arduous search and journey and cost a great deal more than regular paper.  Three decades ago one had to search for a recycling depot – and now curbside recycling is mandated in many communities.  There are dozens of choices for recycled paper and recycled products.  Including clothing and accessories.

This Earth Day you don’t have to go any where special in order to NOTICE all the ways you contribute to the increasingly “GREEN” attitude toward our planet.  Do you take your own bags to the grocery store?  Do you walk instead of driving?  Do you re-use your lunch bag and pack food in washable containers instead of throw-away bags?  These are all actions that are EARTH DAY celebrations.  See?  Easy. A simple pleasure.

Lifting your vision to the larger picture, there is so much more to do.  Reasonable requirements for safety and planning before off-shore oil drilling permits are released, spot-checks on compliance for trash/transfer stations who are required to be conducting on-site separation and recycling.  What can you DO about such things as these?  Notice.  Observe.  Write your elected officials.  Inquire of your service providers.  Jump start your Green actions by noticing today all they ways you have implemented care for the planet and identifying the measures you have yet to begin.  There’s 364 days before the next celebration – see what simple things you can do toward a greater courtesy toward your Earth.

We’ve come a long way toward GREEN and we have ever so much further to go before our dear planet can breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Ah, yes.   They ARE going to care for me, tenderly.”

Loving the planet is a perfect and honorable thing to consider as part of a Holy Week practice.  Walking gently and being GREEN is a holy action of love toward the planet that upholds us.

HOLY WEEK – An Easter Prayer

 

HOLY WEEK:

CONTRASTS in Now, Then and Forever

 

Within seven days…

you have  a penchant for

saying so much with so little, the

Strunk and White of Elemental Spirit,

You teach brevity and

economy of expression.

In seven days You

call forth a world.

You consider unacceptable things in seven.

In seven days, Holy Week,

we observe in efficient measures

the contrasts of our humanness.

 

Triumphal Entry where all sayers are, “Yes!”

set against the solitary question,

“REALLY? Not even one hour can you be awake with  me?”

On the heels of that incredible invitation you offered Lazarus to, “Rise Up!”

the welcome was astonishing… a crowd curious for another miracle and

all palm leaves and accolades.

Who knew the thrum of the throng would

quickly be followed by so quiet a party?

One loyal soul willing to help you haul

that craggy cross – and two felons.  Even with

them only one  followed you into a safer haven.

(We cannot forget the hopeful, weeping women.)

Grief and grace stand

side by side in this eight-day “Holy Week.”

On Friday we have lost You and

Sunday, You are ours, again.

Ours, then, now and forever.

The contrasts spill into this day.

In little, or in liturgy…

In ritual, or in resistance…

While I may forget to Name You, then, now and

forever, You lovingly name me.

©mary anne radmacher 2011

Holy Wednesday

For some, today is simply Wednesday. If you celebrate Easter in its cultural capacity it’s less than five days left to feather the nests of traditional grass in the Easter baskets. And for those whose systems invite them to a Christian practice – it is the mid-point between Palm Sunday and the joyous celebration of renewal that Easter signifies.

There is a more somber tone that braids through this day. The concept of friendship and betrayal. You see plenty of that in the news today, you might say?  There is the alleged betrayal of Greg Mortenson to his readers – and the potential that all he has said is so – may not be so.  We face the sustained capacity for and tolerance of  bullying in our own communities.  That is a betrayal at so many levels.  You might draw to mind a recollection of a friend who betrayed your trust – or perhaps you, in circumstances which increasingly teach you, betrayed a friendship.

Wednesday of Holy Week, or “Holy Wednesday” is the day many turn their attention to Judas Iscariot and his famous betrayal of his friend, Jesus.  Hurt feelings, competitiveness, feeling excluded, wanting more attention or admiration than he received.  These are all speculations as to why, for monetary  compensation, Judas would disclose his knowledge.  His knowledge that he was only able to access by virtue of friendship and trust extended to him.

Physicists teach us that there is no “this” without a counter-balancing “that.”   The walk of The Christ that is observed around the world this week would not have happened in the way we know of it – without this betrayal.  Bringing the large and sacred truth into my every day experience:  I am who I am today because I am shaped and molded by all the experiences of my life which have walked me on this road.  The betrayals – those levied toward me and those I have handed out – all become part of the story I tell of my life by who I am today.

And in the context of a balancing point, let me do two things.  I ask you to consider some affirming action toward your loyal friends today – or perhaps an overture to someone with whom you have experienced a betrayal of sorts.  And secondly, I offer some inspiring friendship quotes borrowed from my book, “US:CELEBRATING THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP (Conari Press, 2011)

“When I least suspected, I turned around and found a friend.”

“heroic acts and simple gestures offer the same answer, ‘Because you are my friend.'”

“If you have one friend, you hold the hand of the world.”

“You are the time worn pages of my favorite book.”

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