Monday, April 30, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

ANNMARIE NATURE CENTER and a personal story

from website description:
Annmarie Garden is a thirty acre public sculpture park located in scenic Solomons, Maryland. The Garden features an inviting paved path that meanders through the woods past permanent and loaned works of outdoor sculpture. The recent addition of sculpture on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has increased the number and significance of works of art in the park. The Garden is open daily and is an intriguing place to explore how art and nature merge....Annmarie Garden is an enchanting place.

Beginning in 1935, Mr. B. Y. Morrison,...Director of the National Arboretum, began hybridizing azaleas at the Plant Introduction Station in Glenn Dale, Maryland. By 1952, over 400 hybrids had been introduced. The goal of Mr. Morrison's work was three-fold. First, he wanted to develop plants with profuse, huge, and varied blooms. Second, he wanted to develop plants that were cold-hardy. Third, he wanted evergreen azaleas that would bloom from mid-April to mid-June. The resulting collection of azaleas, known as Glenn Dale Hybrids, are a spectacularly varied collection well represented at Annmarie Garden.

Annmarie is our family's cat. She is now ten years old. When my youngest son left for college I was feeling much loss. So we went over to the Gardens for the weekend to see the artist's work that was on display and to enjoy the beautiful grounds. We had once lived near Annmarie Gardens and thus enjoyed the bayside environment even more.
As we were driving away, I asked my husband to pull the car over so I could take a closer look at the beautiful gate (one side of which is pictured above). It turned out that the Director was posted there and she had a shoe box with little wet kittens inside. Someone had left the tiny kittens in the Gardens parking lot. Four had survived and the Director had given them all baths because they were "quite a mess," she said. I picked out the one that I found especially appealing, took her home, and she has been my treasured cat. For several weeks she would sleep beside me in the bed at night. She grew to be a beautiful and refined feline. She ultimately had two litters of wondrous kittens and when we had her neutered it was a hard thing to do. She is a Tuxedo Gray and has similar markings to our Mika, a Boston Terrier. They are very attached and jealous with one another and quite a funny pair. I will always be grateful to the Gardens for being the original home of my cat, Annmarie.
Now is the time to visit......all the Azaleas are in bloom.

Friday, April 27, 2007



taken by my son at
Cypress Swamp Nature Center
Again the violet bows to the lily.
Again, the rose is tearing off her gown.

The green ones have come from the other world,
tipsy like the breeze up to some new foolishness.
Again, near the top of the mountain
The anenome's sweet features appear.

The hyacinth speaks formally to the jasmine.
Peace be with you. And peace to you, lad.
Come walk with me in the meadow.
The Friend is here like water in the stream,
like a lotus on the water.
The ringdove comes asking, Where, where
where is the Friend? With one note
the nightingale indicates the rose.

Many things must be left unsaid because it is late,
but whatever conversation we have not had tonight,
we will have tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Earth Day 2007: Happiness Is a Smaller Eco-Footprint

by Stephen Leahy (excerpt)

....(A)fundamental issue in modern culture is separation from nature,” she says. “We don’t see that we are connected to the natural world.”

With more people living in cities than in rural areas for the first time in human history, the delusion of separation is likely to worsen.

A recent scientific study found that more children knew the characters of the video game Pokemon than could recognise an oak tree or an otter, according to the Ecological Society of America, a Washington DC-based organisation of 10,000 ecological scientists.

....And yet there is ample evidence that children who connect with nature perform better in school, have higher academic testing scores, exhibit fewer behavioural challenges, and experience fewer attention-deficit disorders, the ESA said in a recent statement.

The evidence is unequivocal that a focus on materialistic lifestyle makes people less happy,” Thompson said.

“The index clearly shows that you can have a better quality of life with less use of resources,” he said. However, despite these facts and decades of talk about sustainability, all economies are still based on the concept of endless growth.

....The things that bring us joy or happiness and a good life don’t have to cost the Earth,” Marks told Inter Press Service.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


The labyrinth here is a tool to use in contemplative prayer and meditation. Labyrinths are often confused with mazes. But while a maze has dead ends and blind alleys, the labyrinth has only one path leading both in and out of the center. The labyrinth is flat. One can always see the center. The destination is assured, so that the mind can be still and attentive.

Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives us insight into our spiritual journeys. The labyrinth does nothing on its own. It is simply a tool helpful for many people in deepening their prayer lives. Each walk into and out of the labyrinth is a unique opportunity to meet our creative, loving God through contemplative prayer.

The pattern above is the labyrinth pattern built into the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France more than 800 years ago. It is the best known Christian labyrinth design, and the pattern for the labyrinth to built into the floor of the worship space in our new building at King of Peace....

Walking the Healing Path

Thursday, April 19, 2007

WATERFALL Cris Williamson

Sometimes, it takes a rainy day

Just to let you know
everything's gonna be
alright. Alright.

Sometimes, it takes a rainy day, just to let you know
everything's gonna be

When you open your life to
the living, all things come
spilling in on you.

And you're flowing like a river, the changer and the changed.

You got to spill some over, spill some over, spill some over, over all.
Filling up and spilling over, it's an endless waterfall. Filling up and spilling over, overall.

Filling up and spilling over, it's an endless waterfall. Filing up and spilling over, overall.

Sometimes, it takes a rainy day, just to let you know everything's gonna be......alright.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Photo, Amy Sancetta, AP

Loving and compassionate Lord, we pray for all those who were injured, suffered loss of friends and loved ones, and all who have died in this terrible tragedy. Receive and comfort them in Your arms.
Strengthen and heal those who responded
and whose spirits were injured by this tragedy as they sought to protect and aide these students and teachers.

And for those who now travel and seek the reassurance of reuniting again with loved ones we pray that you will place your gentle healing breath upon each of them that they may always feel the warmth of Your love and protection. In Christ’s name we pray.
if you would like to light a candle for the victims, click
to read Sheila McJilton's poem click
Sojourner's Magazine

Sunday, April 15, 2007


The road to Shrine Mont in the early Spring is filled with verdant meadows, hillsides and mountains, red buds and dogwoods in bloom, bright green cow pastures, and my favorite seasonal change of all, the pale burgundy buds and chartreuse leafings among the treetops

One usually arrives to find dinner ready and waiting in the large dining hall. The hall is in an old hotel surrounded by porches on three levels. If you go to the third floor you will be enchanted by the ballroom that was used by gentrified Easterners in the 1800's when they came many miles by buggy to bathe in its medicinal spring waters.

Becky, here shown with her grandchildren, was one of the hospitality folks who welcomed us to the weekend in Hall House, the customary gathering place for those from our parish. We have been coming to Shrine Mont since the late 1980's and spend the weekend in worship, outdoor exploration, group games, and especially in lots of laughter and relaxation.

Once the welcoming circles and activites are complete for the evening, we settle down for worship. This year, Martha, our priest, began the weekend with an Order of Compline that was adapted from the New Zealand Prayer Book

Saturday starts off with a big breakfast and afterwards many of us hike to either the Fire Tower or the Cross a shorter distance up the mountain. I didn't quite make it to the Cross, but another weekender hiked back down the mountainside with me and we sat for a spell on the Adirondack chairs, got better acquaintanted, and were then joined there by my son. During the day the parish children are cared for and take up some kind of learning and craft project.

Saturday evening is a time of continued worship, organized games, more food and fellowship and sometimes extends to the wee hours.

Sunday morning we usually gather for worship at the outdoor Shrine, but this year we were rained out and had our morning service at Hall House using an Iona Eucharistic prayer.

Sunday dinner is always fried chicken and all the fixin's. Then its time to say goodbye and head home. Here is a picture of my son, who was driving ahead of me heading down the moutain pass.

Returning home by way of Luray Caverns past skyline drive is a beautiful southern route home.

Cloud-veiled Blue Ridge Mountains in early Spring

Friday, April 13, 2007


Misty Morning in Maine

A poem of life and art by one of our Poet Laureates, Mona Van Duyn (1921-2004).
Moose in the Morning, Northern Maine

At six a.m. the log cabins
nose an immense cow-pie of mist
that lies on the lake.
Nineteen pale goldfinches perch
side by side on the telephone wire
that runs to shore,
and under them the camp cow,
her bones pointing this way and that,
is collapsed like a badly constructed
pup tent in the dark weeds.
Inside, I am building a fire
in the old woodstove with its rod overhead
for hunters' clothes to steam on.
I am hunting for nothing—perhaps the three cold pencils
that lie on the table like kindling
could go in to start the logs.
I remember Ted Weiss saying,
"At the exhibition I suddenly realized
Picasso had to remake everything he laid his eyes on
into an art object.
He couldn't let the world alone.
Since then I don't write every morning.
"The world is warming and lightening
and mist on the pond
dissolves into bundles and ribbons.
At the end of my dock there comes clear,
bared by the gentle burning,
a monstrous hulk with thorny head,
up to his chest in the water,
mist wreathing round him.
Grander and grander grows the sun
until he gleams, his brown coat
glistens, the great rack,
five feet wide, throws sparks
of light. A ton of monarch,
munching, he stands spotlit.
Then slowly, gravely, the great neck lowers
head and forty pounds of horn
to sip the lake.
The sun stains the belittled
cow's hide amber.
She heaves her bones and bag
and her neckbell gongs
as she gets to her feet
in yellow blooms of squaw-weed.
On the telephone wire
all the little golden bells are ringing
as that compulsive old scribbler, the universe,
jots down another day.