Thursday, November 17, 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

For the Beauty of the Earth --

"One is constantly reminded of the lavishness and fertility of nature..."  - John Muir

Thanksgiving on the Farm

O, the farm was bright, Thanksgiving morn 
With its stacks of hay and shocks of corn, 
Its pumpkin heaps in the rambling shed, 
And its apples brown and green and red; 
And in the cellar, the winter store, 
In bins that were filled and running o’er 
With all the things that a farm could keep / 
In barrel and bin and goodly heap, 
Hung to the rafters and hid away— 
O the farm was a pleasant place to stay!

And here and there was the Jersey stock, 
The sheep and horses, old Prince and Jock— 
The turkeys and geese and awkward calf 
And the goat that made the children laugh, 
A pair of mules that a friend had sent 
Out to the farm for experiment, 
Pigeons and fowls and a guinea pig, 
Dogs that were small and dogs that were big, 
Chickens that were white and black and gray— 
O the farm was a jolly sight that day.

-- shared from Bernardsville News Nov 23,1922 p 3

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

It is a special Thanksgiving Poetry Friday, thanks to our host, Jama Rattigan. She serves up some wonderful Thanksgiving food photos and one hilarious Thanksgiving poem. Be sure to click HERE!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Glimpses of Holiness

Thanks to Fran for hosting our Spiritual Thursday group today, and for providing the prompt. She asks us to write about what is holy.

I believe we all experience glimpses of holiness.  I have written about one holy moment for me, you can find it if you click here.

Frederick Buechner writes about a holy moment:

Two apple branches struck against each other with the limber clack of wood on wood. That was all -- a tick-tock rattle of branches -- but then a fierce lurch of excitement at what was only daybreak, only the smell of summer coming, only starting back again for home, but oh Jesus, he thought, with a great lump in his throat and a crazy grin, it was an agony of gladness and beauty falling wild and soft like rain. Just clack-clack, but praise him, he thought. Praise him.

Perhaps holy moments, like angels, are all around us, if only we could see them. Or perhaps they come just a few times in a lifetime. In any case, they give us a glimpse into another life, a deeper connection. I have felt this "agony of gladness" upon holding a newborn, at the innocence in a child's face, walking in the woods with my husband, while singing in choir, to name a few. 

One of my strongest experiences was during a guided prayer. I was guided to a dry place, and a well, and then silence. In the silence Jesus approached me and put his hand on my shoulder and just stood next to me. I felt a deep sense of connection, of understanding. An agony of peace. Like a brother, he knew me. He accepted me. He stood with me. Praise him.

Photo thanks to my brother, Don Evenson

"Holy, Holy, Holy" was one of my dad's favorite hymns. We sang it often in the Lutheran church as I grew up, and I often think of him when I sing it. And thinking of my childhood and the three holies, a funny thing happened when I was a young child in church. An altar cloth had fancy scrolled lettering embroidered in green, and one Sunday I took the little pencil from the pew pocket and copied them onto a bulletin. It was meant to say Holy Holy Holy, but because of the fancy scroll, and because I was in the fog of childhood, I mistook the H for an R, so I wrote Roly, Roly, Roly. I was pretty proud of myself until I showed my mother. I couldn't figure out why she shook her head and looked away.  The memory still makes me laugh. Surely laughter can be included in holy moments.

Here are some words from that good old hymn, and a list of words that I connect with the idea of holiness.

Holy, Holy, Holy
Only Thou art Holy

Words and feelings
that I connect with 

A new creation
Set down right
At home
At one

I invite you to add to this list.

May your heart be filled with the spirit of holiness.

 If we weren't blind as bats, we might see that life itself is sacramental.

   - Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking