We Are So Tiny

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“”Natural boundaries are not evidenced when we view the earth from space.  Fanatical ethnic or religious or national identifications are a little difficult to support when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.”

Carl Sagan

I worry about our country and our planet these days – especially these days – but am taking time to look at photos of planets in our solar system, reading about the cosmos and listening to Neil Degrasse Tyson, who for me boils down the immensity of Space and Time into something fathomable and understandable to my tiny brain.  Our species has been ruled by despots many times in many places and yet our species lives on.  Some folks better than others, but we live on.  Once our planet’s resources are used up by said despots our planet will pitch a tantrum and our time as a species will draw to a close and the insects will take over.  We are already knee deep into the 6th Extinction, I believe.  It’s an interesting time to be a human.

Church in Nature

 

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“We need to find God,

and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.

God is the friend of silence.

See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence;

see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…

We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

Mother Teresa

 

I’ve always contended that Nature is my Church.  I’ve tried organized religion and rarely find Spirit in the “house of God.”  Instead, I find Him in the silence of my soul when I talk with Him, when I watch His creatures in the wild and I observe the variations of this beautiful natural cathedral He created we call Earth.  However, I must confess that I also find Him in the ancient musics like Georgian chants, Latin hymns of my father-in-laws Episcopalian faith, Native American wooden flutes and the choirs of children.  Music transcends, and there’s something about not being able to understand the words that lend a mysticism.  I think about these things over the Christmas holiday.

Merry Christmas!

 

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Old Church at Christmas, Mooresville, Alabama

 

What Reminds You of Christmas?

by Ernestine Northover

“A holly wreath hung on the door,
Or presents strewn across the floor,
Tall Christmas tree with baubles bright,
Which fills our hearts with such delight.

Carols sung out in the snow,
A Snowman built with eyes aglow,
Crackers pulled, a song to sing,
Candles lit, and bells that ring.

Roasted turkey, which tastes divine,
Rich, fruit cake, with an iced design,
No, the most important reminder of all,
Is the birth of a babe in an Ox’s stall.”

Merry Christmas to all my Blogging Pals!

Positivity

 

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“I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet

is put in our path for a purpose.

There are no accidents; we’re all teachers –

if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn,

trust our positive instincts

and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.”

Maria Gibbs

Pareidolia

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Face in the Sand 2015

 

A blogger friend Steve Schwartzman writes Portraits of Wildflowers, from which I draw both wisdom and inspiration.  Recently, I’d commented on one of his photographs showing various ripples in the sand and he in turn taught me the word “pareidolia.”

Pareidolia is basically a type of illusion of phenomenon wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern in nature or things.  Like seeing the face of Jesus in a potato chip, the Man in the Moon, seeing animal shapes in clouds or, in my case, seeing Salvador Dali in the rill mark image, above.  Or maybe it’s Edgar Allen Poe.  I don’t see ALL of him, just the most of the top of his face before alien rill marks melts the rest away.  One of my all time favorite passions is to go out at low tide and take photos of the rill marks that occur at low tide as the sea drains back into the ocean.  I’ve spotted dragons, women, amoebas and Christmas trees as well as all manner of abstracts.  All lovingly captured and set aside.  I seem to be the only one who thinks these images are amusing or captivating.  Maybe, just maybe, there are others out there.

So, do you see Salvador Dali?  Have you ever experienced pareidolia?  If so, do tell!

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“Ocean is more ancient than the mountains,

and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.”

H. P. Lovecraft

Fantastical creatures of the deep ocean are continually being discovered as technological advances are made.  What more may we discover?  At the rate we are clearing rainforests and polluting our oceans and leveling mountains we may lose more species than we’ll ever experience.  Species are growing extinct before they’re even found.  What will it take to make humans stop and think what our presence, our action does to this Earth, our home planet?  I, for one, fear for our planet’s future.

Leading Lines

 

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Funny how inspiration strikes unexpectedly.  From out of nowhere a voice, a song, an image, ……a comment….something jolts your inner creative and infuses a freshness of thought, a burst of energy.  That happened to me today from a comment that lead to exploring their blog to jumpstarting an old dream.  Like these lines of flotsam the sea created, above, my thoughts are going willy nilly but they’re all headed in the same direction.  I love Nature, and I definitely love The Sea.  Thanks, Anna.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”
Rumi

Iona Benedictine Abbey

 

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Iona Benedictine Abbey, Isle of Iona, Scotland  2014

This year’s Christmas cards from us was once again created by my love of Scotland.  Iona Benedictine Abbey is the cradle of Christianity into the British Isles.  My Twinnie just shared with me this article from Historic Scotland:

“On 7 December 521AD Saint Columba, founder of the monastery of Iona, was born in Donegal, Ireland. Columba was banished from Ireland in 563AD following a disagreement about the ownership of a religious manuscript, and left Ireland, landing at the Kintyre peninsula with twelve companions. He moved further north and reached the island of Iona, where he established a monastery.

According to tradition, Iona was the first place in Scotland from which Columba was unable to see his homeland, and so he choose this as the site for Iona Monastery. From here, Columba worked both as a politician and a missionary, visiting King Bridei in Inverness and writing hymns and books for the monastery.

The life of St Colomba is told by Adomnan, the ninth abbot of Iona, who wrote Vita Columbae, the main source of information for the saint’s life.”

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Benches in the Rain, Iona Benedictine Abbey, Isle of Iona, Scotland

St. Columba followed us throughout the Highlands, showing up in many references from Urquhart Castle and beyond.  The peace of this place is palpable.  People stay here for weeks upon weeks on retreats.  That’s something I’d like to do.

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It was here, above, where St. Columba prayed each evening.

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One of four major Celtic crosses at the Iona Benedictine Abbey.

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A peek inside the Abbey.  I was surprised and impressed to see bookshelves to the right upon entering that shelve Bibles in every language.  Borrow one, return it.  Iona Benedictine Abbey is inclusive and welcoming.

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A House of Prayer for all Nations.  As we approach this Christmas season my personal prayer is to be more inclusive, more welcoming and impart a kinder, gentler self out onto the world stage.  Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas, ya’ll.