BEING HOME

In between the big changes and crises of our lives, the one place to which we always
return is being home.  The familiar sanity restores the energy to weather the next day, the next step.

Here’s something on that thought:

“TAKING OUT THE TRASH”

” The trash bin is overflowing under the sink.
It’s time to feed the big outdoor garbage can
again. How quickly it happens … how astonishing
that every week my bins are full to the brim
with the wastes of my daily existence.
Here I am dumping everything
from carrot peelings to junk mail.
What a mess I make !

I must remember that You planned waste
as an essential part of life. It, too, is holy.
I want to keep in mind
the pine tree by the front door
and how it keeps dropping its numberless needles
— a tall and humble prayer.
………………………

This task is a kind of surrender …
surrender to the knowledge that by being alive
and human I do make a human mess
as a pine tree makes its kind of mess.
Let me surrender any fake and pristine sense
of not affecting my fellow beings
and my environment with my waste.
Let me own my part of the landfill …
the one outside of town with the bulldozer
and the psychological one we all share.

Keep me mindful of what I take
into my home, the items bought to substitute
for real living — the food and drink I consume
instead of examining my feelings.
Help me slowly to surrender all excess.”

…………GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book
Being Home, a book of meditations.

We can sink into the sameness of being home,
even as we approach change.

Always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

"Keep me mindful..." Photo by Elizabeth Strazar
“Keep me mindful…”
Photo by Elizabeth Strazar

TODAY

August, the most mysterious month of our year, is also the pause before the next step.

This morning, I got up and chose a book on the seasons, looking for a gesture with which to welcome
the return to the work world shortly ahead.

I found this:

“Any time we make a garden, even a tiny one,
we are in the work of remembering.

Working the soil, cultivating our inner ground,
we have a chance to appreciate and praise
the great gift of life and the earth that sustains us.
We are held
by something so beyond our ken
and so essentially unknowable.
We call it God though no word can
name it.

Humming through us, through the ground,
through all things, it asks us
to be particular, to be living expressions,
to be sons and daughters oF EARTH and to care for life itself.
It asks us to be fruitful—to tend the garden,
to protect the garden, to share the garden,
to be the garden.”

GUNILLA NORRIS, from A Mystic Garden, 2006

There’s just one more line, too good to miss:
“One who plants a garden, plants happiness.””
(old Chinese proverb)

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

20130820-072918.jpg

RAKED OVER

All of a sudden, someone has raked the drifting piles
of leaves that have lain sodden on these foggy, in-
between days, not quite winter, certainly not autumn.

“I hear the raspy sound of the rake’s tines as they
scratch the ground. I think of what is painful in my
life. There’s a decision here, a decision to notice,
acknowledge, gather, and deliberately remove.
I cart the maple leaves in the blue plastic tarp to
the compost pile in the back. I need to turn them
over to the deep processes of nature.

Inside I need to turn what is done and gone over to
my God.

Even after I rake, some leaves are left. I see them
rolling over the lawn in the wind. LIke small sorrows,
and lingering pain, even they will be gone. The habit
of regret must be allowed to return to the soil.

It is the gift of this season of life to be as simple
as a brown stalk in falling light — that spiritually
bare, that naked.

There is nothing left without use —
nothing left out of the whole,
you are there, part of the Holy.”
………………………………………………………………..
GUNILLA NORRIS, from her book, A Mystic Garden.

This helps me prepare for this season of light, of
joy and sharing and festivity. We surely are in a
clearing.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette
IMG_7219

A GARDEN

The end of Summer seems to fall around Labor Day,
part of our cultural homage to change of season.

I went to my bookcase this morning, pulled out
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, then recent poems by
Mary Oliver, and lastly, Gunilla Norris’s book,
A Mystic Garden.

What the summer has brought up for us all has
been sudden, often unexpected, yet hugely
meaningful. Here, from A Mystic Garden, are
today’s words:

“Any time we make a garden, even a tiny one, we
are in the work of remembering. Working the soil,
cultivating our inner ground, we have a chance to
appreciate and praise the great gift of life and the
earth that sustains us.

We are held by something so beyond our ken
and so essentially unknowable. We call it God
though no word can name it.

Humming through us, through the ground, through
all things, it asks us to be particular, to be living
expressions, to be sons and daughters of earth
and to care for life itself.

It asks us to be fruitful — to tend the garden,
to protect the garden, to share the garden,
to be the garden.”

……..GUNILLA NORRIS.

While the glorious colors of gardens are still with us,
let’s fill our senses with beauty, and share the gifts..

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

“We are held by something so beyond our ken and so essentially unknowable…”

CHOOSING WHAT TO WEAR

This morning I picked up an old favorite book of
meditations, BEING HOME by Gunilla Norris, illus-
trated by Greta Sibley. On page10, “Choosing What
to Wear” made me pause:

I saw penciled notes on the page, showing dates
on whichI had shared this meditation with you:
7/08/01.
6/25/05

Can it be that many years that we have been in
touch on early mornings? Just knowing that
makes me so happy.
Time flies, and these pauses for poetry & thought
allow us so much space between spaces.

That’s magic.

So, here is that meditation, one more time:

“Is it a pink day, sky blue,
bottle green or black?
I look in the closet. What kind of day is it?
I want to respond to this day,
to feel my ‘yes’ to its color.

I stand by the closet door
barefooted before this choice.
When I pick now I want to remember
that You have picked me —
no self-made woman, but one brought forth
by the lives that have gone before me,
lives that have made mine possible…
from the first single-celled creatures,
those ancient ancestors.
to the dear ones I call parents.

Riches upon riches. LIfe shimmering forward.
Let me wear that ongoing color!
Let me wear the joy that matches this day.”

……….GUNILLA NORRIS, from the book.
“Being Home, A Book of Meditations. 1991

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

Old School Antoinette
“Let me wear the joy that matches this day.”

A STRING OF WORDS

Gunilla Norris wrote a book, A MYSTIC GARDEN, Working
and Attending to Soul. For years I have opened this book
at the turn of the seasons to welcome the changes, and
to honor the passage of life during the previous time.

This book has lost its spine, and as I picked it up this
morning, it fell open to page 25, chapter title: SPRING.

I love books. I love the empty pages that face a new
chapter, and oft-times I have written notes therein.
Wow.
Here’s what I found noted there in pencil:

vulnerable
beautiful
dependent
dynamic
needy
bursting at the seams
humming
aching
……………………………

All of that is part of Spring. Could you stay a moment
with those words? No poem needed, just the hum of
feelings allowed and spurting up through the cracks.

It feels like an early Spring here in southwest Connecticut.
Let’s see what we take with us into this season.

always with love,
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette

bursting at the seams
humming
aching

PERMISSION TO SLEEP

I have picked up one golf memoir, two books of poetry,
and now this well-worn book of meditations called
B E I N G H O M E.
It’s 5 o’clock in the morning, and I want to finish my sleep.

I know that if I can find the best, best words to share with
you, I will fall back into bed and into deepest slumber.

So, here they are, those words:

“This morning as I put my feet on the floor
let me remember how many thousands of years
it took for this act to be possible —
the slow and painstaking development
so that a human creature could rise,
could stand on two feet, and then walk.

From the very beginning, from the first explosion
Your precise and patient love has been creating us.

The wonder is that now my hands are free
even as I walk or run or stand or dance.
The wonder is that now while I am upright,
my eyes can gaze at the ground,
along the ground
and beyond to the horizon.”

…………..GUNILLA NORRIS, 1991, Being Home.

I am lost in that wonder. Let me never take it for granted.

with love …
Mom/Mimi/Toni/Antoinette