I never knew 17 syllables could become a spiritual practice. In fact, writing a haiku poem, a traditional form of Japanese poetry, was something I dreaded in grammar school. But now, for 2023, I have committed to writing a haiku every day.
Tonight took me by surprise. I was listening to my son share what he called his fears about life: fifth grade, shifting friendships, an upcoming surgery, his sense of himself. A part of me wanted to talk him out of most of it, to tell him that it’d all be okay, but I chose to be present instead. When he was done, I told him this story—and found the gift I needed too.
I have a thing for red flowers. Not roses, necessarily, but more everyday kinds of flowers: red geraniums, red tulips, red salvia. This summer I potted a red begonia on my front porch. Nestled in between the door and my favorite porch chair, I couldn’t help but see it every day. It bloomed all summer long. It’s still blooming now, and it’s November. I have no idea why. I call it my God plant.
My spiritual director asks the best questions. They linger with me long past the click that ends our monthly Zoom call. What if God is change? What if we are stardust? What if the sacred is not transactional? I don’t know the answers, and neither does anyone, really. But pondering them expands me, especially now.
My front porch has become my sanctuary, my “altar in the world,” to quote theologian Barbara Brown Taylor. I like to sit on the ledge late at night, my back against the brick. Out here is where I talk to God. Sometimes I use words. Most nights, I sit in silence. Breathing in that fresh night air, something in me expands beyond myself and reconnects me to the larger world, beyond the limits of my mind.
It’s been a long year and the summer is finally upon us. I am still wearing my grandmother’s wedding ring that was gifted to me from my mom. It is my daily reminder that God is faithful, opening our lives in ways unimagined. May this summer bring you unexpected gifts too. I’ll be back online in August.
On Easter Sunday, I finished the Camino de Santiago, an ancient 480.8 mile (773.9 km) pilgrimage across the northern part of Spain. It starts in a village in France and ends in the town Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Unlike the medieval pilgrims who first walked it, I did the Camino virtually.
It’s never easy writing about Easter, or Christmas for that matter. So much pressure to say the right thing, especially this year with three major holidays in parallel: Passover, Easter, Ramadan. I find myself searching for an everyday kind of way to embrace Easter, to remember what it means beyond jellybeans, chocolate bunnies, and never […]
It can be hard to find joy, let alone laughter, in the losses of the past two years and in the immense losses of the war in Ukraine and civil wars around the world. I don’t often understand the divine, but I believe God is active, moving in our lives. Laughter, like grace, takes me by surprise. May it do the same for you, today.
I am reminded as we enter another year of the pandemic that some life events have the power to reshape us. They reorder our galaxies and transform our plans. Who we were before no longer mirrors who we are becoming. I am being reshaped right now. I wish I could see the outcome, but for now, I am trying to rest in the faithfulness of God. I learned that many years ago. And I am relearning it again now.