Yearly Archives

2024

Rites of Passage

Glimmers June 11, 2024

Dear Friends,

This morning’s green leaves dance above me. And the clouds, traveling through the soft blue sky, gently move even higher still. I treasure the birdsong surrounding me, high and bright, with an occasional low tone from the Mourning Dove. I’m reminded of my, then 7 year old, son’s face as he imitated her call. His eyebrows pulled together in an empathetic sadness, his mouth pursed as he sang, “coo-ah, coo, coo, coo,” a sweet reminder of the passage of life. (Here’s the dove’s sound for your enjoyment.)

June brings new life to the lake, we watch for tiny versions of birds and bunnies, squirrels and groundhogs. This year, three families of Canadian Geese have captured our interest. They seem to follow the sun, spending the morning on the West side to poke in the grass or turn bottom’s up in shallow water. Evening comes and we see them on the Eastern shoreline, preening and settling down after a long day. The families travel together, each set of goslings between two adults, a parade of life made extra special because of their different sizes. We watch newly hatched, more mature, and “teenager” goslings navigate their version of #lakelife and ponder the passage of life that continues.

Babies grow, families evolve, nurturing changes and identities transform, but love remains constant. Next year, some of those grown goslings will return to Beseck Lake to create their own families, some will not. The passage of life can be unpredictable, even difficult, but with intention, love remains constant. We, too, evolve and experience transformation within our very personal passage of life. It is here, during times of growth, we are invited to a deeper, more intentional commitment to love. It is here, in the morning’s promise, we hear the invitation and can say, “yes.”

With love on this new day, Lisa

You Will Be Found

Glimmers May 2, 2024

Dear Friends,

On Monday night, I sang in a concert with new friends and old songs, as well as some very new songs! The weeks of rehearsals were a return to the joy of harmonizing, the challenge of correct timing, and falling in love with certain tunes or lyrics. The music and voices filled my heart and I’m sad to let them go… it’s like I lost an anchor. At the same time, I’m grateful for the experience and it’s meaning in my life.

One song in particular, actually a blending of two, was new to me. Titled, “Found/Tonight,” it’s origin and beauty offer a testament to hope. As you know from our 10 years of Glimmers together, hope guides our healing from loss. Not the wish-fulfillment kind of hope, but hope as a fundamental, transformative aspect of our humanity.

The song was birthed following the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where a student-led organization created “March for Our Lives” to support gun control legislation. Lin-Manuel Miranda, of  “Hamilton,” and his collaborator Alex Lacamoire combined songs from “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to create this beautiful anthem of  hope. If you click on this link you’ll hear the voices of Miranda and Ben Platt soaring through your heart.  And you’ll hear these words:

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?

Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
All we see is light
‘Cause maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
For forever
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand

We, who have experienced loss, know the empty spaces it creates. We, who grieve consciously, have learned to surrender and trust the unfolding of our healing. We, who claim hope as a part of our DNA, can sing:

Even when the dark comes crashing throughWhen you need a friend to carry youWhen you’re broken on the groundYou will be found

You, my friends, are found. Its a privilege to journey with you, Lisa

 

Remembering with Gratitude

Glimmers April 27, 2024

Dear Friends, as each month passes in 2024 I am reminded of the gift that these Glimmers have become for me and for others. Below you’ll see the 2014 April version, my 5th one, published 10 years ago! Some thoughts are specific to that year, some have a universal message that can still nourish us. I hope you’ll join us in a community Zoom, details coming soon, to celebrate these 10 years of Glimmers. In the meantime, let us all rest in the palm of God’s hand….how blessed are we? with affection, Lisa

Rest in the palm of God’s hand

GLIMMERS April 24, 2014

Dear Friends,

It is my hope that these monthly messages bring a little more light into your lives. Some days I see the light blazing through the darkness, and others, like today, I am grateful for the glimmer, the subtle but consistent, flickering light of Love.

April is an interesting month, it brings the promises of Spring and the celebration of Easter. April is all about “new life.” Yet as I wait for April to begin, we still have cold days, ice along the edges of the lake, and naked maple trees surrounding the house. Where is the new life in Connecticut when cherry blossoms are blooming in Seattle? Or, how can one celebrate those cherry blossoms when the Snohomish County mudslide is just miles away?

This disparity of images continues in other ways.

A dear friend faces loss while another celebrates an accomplishment.

                                        Families gather for a wedding as they hear of their relative’s car accident.

                                                                                  Repeatedly, it seems we are faced with the highs and lows of life.

Our hearts are worn out in response to external events or sometimes just waiting for the thaw to begin. And the question returns, how do we trust in new life when we’re surrounded by cold or darkness?

It’s not enough for me to “believe” anymore. It reminds me too much of Peter Pan asking me to clap to keep Tinkerbell alive. I find I’m attracted to Carl Jung’s words. “I don’t believe in God, I know God.” I am learning to trust my own experience, even using it as a reference point. When the darkness of doubt creeps into my heart, I remember Doris – her faithfulness and her unfailing regard for each human being. The image of Doris’s integrity stands between doubt and me, giving me a chance to breathe and recollect. When the chill of fear grabs me, I can now return to the gifts of my humanity. I see the sunrise and experience the peace it elicits in my heart. I recall moments on retreat or holding hands with my husband and am reminded…I know Love.

To paraphrase Jung, I don’t just believe in Love, I know Love. My human experience has reminded me over and over that Love is an energy, a reality that surpasses all the disparities around me. Love holds them as One. Remember the Irish blessing asking God to hold us in the palm of his hand? Well, what is God holding exactly? I would answer our joys and sorrows, tensions and gifts, fears and dreams. In this warm and safe place, our lives are tenderly nurtured and cared for. Here, in this loving embrace, new life emerges and we begin again. Let us remember those who are hurting today.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

With love on this new day, Lisa

Thank you, Mother Earth

Glimmers April 22, 2024

Dear Friends,

To the woman who took off her shoes and outer sweatshirt, to stretch out in the sunny, 56 degree, CT afternoon today:

Thank you.

Thank you for listening to the wind and waves at Mercy by the Sea, thank you for looking at the buds coming out on the tiptop of a maple tree, thank you for trusting the invitation to enjoy this Earth Day 2024 with your whole self. Thank you for resting in Divine Presence during our week together.

On the retreat team this week, I have the privilege to hear souls’ journeys during their silent directed retreat. The morning unfolded as stories revealed vulnerability, courage, humanity and trust in the unseen Hand of God. We each felt the blessing of celebrating Earth Day in this most beautiful spot and I shared a prayer from Pastor Steve – who ministers through his website, Unfolding Light.

I share it with you here, friends, because his words and intention capture a truth that I hold dear. A concept that supports my own healing and understanding as a child of God, a Godling, as Steve would say. A reminder of the deep and rich relationship that each of us has with our home, our planet Earth. With gratitude and affection, Lisa

We are part of earth, not separate, not foreign.
Earthlings. We are not the whole earth,
but we are not anything else.
Every molecule of our flesh
is from the planet’s dirt and water.
The tides in our veins, the forests in our gut,
our mountains and valleys of bones,
our breathing in and out, all are of the Earth.
The red oak and the white tailed deer,
the water buffalo, the giraffe and the penguin,
the worm and mycelium,
the springs and rivers and the wandering winds,
all embrace us, include us, flow in and out of us.
Here we belong.

And so it is true of God. We belong.
We are not God, or even a great part of God.
But we are nothing else. Godlings.
Made of God, contained in God,
belonging in God. We are God’s microbiome.
God flows in and out of us.
We will never comprehend the Infinite One,
but only know that God is in everything we do.

Our calling, on earth and in God,
is to honor our belonging.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Deep Peace

Glimmers March 21, 2024

Dear Friends,

You’ve been on my mind…

I hope you’ve made the time for staring out the window, watching the birds dance across the sky. Or walking alongside a lake or stream, listening to life in its fullness…. I hope you’ve made the time to Be. That’s where you’ll find me these days, in the land of Be-ing.

You see, the new year began with three significant events and I, who evidently needs time to process things, am discovering new paths and attitudes as my heart stretches and stretches again. Adjustment and change are my “growing edges” in life, maybe for you too? In early January, I met, and fell in love with, our first grandchild in far-away Germany, and watched our eldest son become a Daddy, our daughter-in-law now a Mommy. Later, I received the news that my long time friend had died from pancreatic cancer. Her last, heartbreaking words, to me, “I love you, sweetie.” And as the month ended, we shared the joy, via pictures and Zoom-chat, of our younger son’s magical NYC wedding with his beloved. Just the two of them, their love and finery shone a bright light amid classic city scenes.

For ten years, I’ve crafted these Glimmers, drawn from my personal life and faith-journey to speak of our human stories and our shared desire for Divine presence in our lives. Born from the writer’s adage, “Write what you know,” and combined with my study of theology and the universal themes of grief, I sought to be a voice of hope for you, my companions on this journey. As March moves forward, you remain in my heart and prayer, your own stories unfolding – I pray you receive the wisdom that appears. What can I share today to support your path?

Let Love reveal itself in the rhythm of life. Remain open to complexity, to moments of joy and of sadness, to a single leaf dancing under gentle raindrops. Receive the gifts that appear in people, the natural world, in your own heart – and know that you are, indeed, a most beautiful child of God. I close with the music of my friend and wisdom teacher, Simon de Voil. Listen and receive the gift of Deep Peace…..

With affection, Lisa

Let’s talk about prayer…

Glimmers February 13, 2024

Dear Friends,

I asked a friend to pray for me. And in the space of time that emails take, I thought about my request more closely. In asking for another’s thoughts/intentions/love, I was admitting my own vulnerability/hurt/need. But more than that, I was opening my heart. It felt like a risk, actually. Will she receive my request and include me in her quiet moments of faith and trust in God? I think so, but can I open my heart to this rich mystery of prayer? Can I trust the unfolding that deep prayer invites us/me into?

It turns out, this request for prayer became an entry point into my own relationship with Divine Love.  As my heart opened, there was more space to receive such Love. As my heart opened, there was more room for trust to grow and reminders to arrive, saying, “Yes, Lisa, your needs are heard, you are not alone.” Gently, prayer became more of a living thing, part of my walk through the day.

One of the reminders that just-so-happened to arrive as I opened my heart to prayer was a quote of Mechtild of Magdeburg, a 13th century German mystic. A card with words printed over a quiet lake, the sun going down, spoke to me….

“I who am Divine – am truly in you. I can never be sundered from you; however far we are parted, never can we be separated. I am in you and you are in Me. We could not be any closer. We two are fused into one, poured into a single mold, thus, unwearied, we shall remain forever.”

Friends, I offer you this reminder, especially as some of us prepare to enter the season of Lent. May we retain this promise of Divine Inclusion and receive its blessings. May we open our hearts to the possibility of  faith coming alive in our journey. May we accept our vulnerability as a doorway into a deeper relationship with our God.

with my love, Lisa

A Prayer for the New Year

Glimmers January 22, 2024

Dear Friends,

Before January 2024 comes to an end, I wanted to reach out and offer my affection and respect for each of you. It is a privilege to share my thoughts and efforts to choose hope with you on a monthly basis. In fact, this month marks the 10th year I have been writing and publishing these Glimmers on my website. Ten years of world events and American cultural changes, ten years of our lives unfolding before our eyes, ten years of reflection on the themes of our humanity and the invitations to our souls.

I intend to celebrate this accomplishment later on in the year. Hoping, for example, you might join me in a community Zoom to share a time of wonder. More details will follow,  until then this month’s Glimmer will be brief. I am still processing complex events from the last two months that have stretched my heart in multiple directions. I cannot use them as a springboard, as I often do on these pages. I cannot describe them simply in 342 words to offer a connection with you and the events of your lives. Not today, anyway.  Today I embrace the wisdom of contemplative practice and allow myself to “just be.”

As this new year begins, I offer this song – a place of rest for those of us needing to “just be.” May it ease the way and help us hold a space of grace. May God’s peace keep you safe, dear friends. With love, Lisa                                                                       The lyrics follow, to hear the music click on this link:

God Beyond All Names  by Bernadette Farrell

God, beyond our dreams, you have stirred in us a memory, you have placed your powerful spirit in the hearts of humankind.

Refrain: All around us, we have known you; all creation lives to hold you, In our living and our dying we are bringing you to birth.

God, beyond all names, you have made us in your image, we are like you, we reflect you, we are woman, we are man. Refrain

God, beyond all words, all creation tells your story, you have shaken with our laughter, you have trembled with our tears. Refrain

God, beyond all time, you are laboring within us; we are moving, we are changing, in your spirit ever new. Refrain

God of tender care, you have cradled us in goodness, you have mothered us in wholeness, you have loved us into birth.

Refrain: All around us, we have known you; all creation lives to hold you, In our living and our dying we are bringing you to birth.