Self Serve

Dear Friends, I met my former 12-step sponsor for lunch yesterday. We had not had a chance to catch up since I returned from St. Louis back in August. As we both live in the Virginia-Highlands area, we decided to go to a neighborhood Asian restaurant we both like. The parking lot was only half-full and I found a spot […]

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Mother Fury

Dear Friends, Only two weeks ago, many of us were enjoying the mountains and fall colors at our all-congregation retreat in Highlands, North Carolina. As I accompanied our children and youth picking up bright leaves and hunting for pine cones under blue skies, I was reminded that Mother Nature can be stunningly beautiful this time of the year. As I […]

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Ray of Light

Dear Friends, Linda called me from St. Louis last night. When her voicemail message said simply, “Please call me back,” I had a sinking feeling I knew why Linda was getting in touch. My suspicion was confirmed when I phoned her and her first words were, “Ray died Friday night.” Ray was 99 years old and a member of the […]

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Opening Windows

Oct. 19, 2012 I find this wonderful fall weather is perfect for sliding back the sunroof of my car, which up until now was tightly shut against the summer heat. Letting the outside in is invigorating . . . new sounds and smells enter my otherwise encapsulated vehicle. My drive to Northwest is punctuated by the rustling of tree tops, […]

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Close Encounter

Dear Friends, As I was dragging the trash cans to the curb Sunday night, there was a brief flash directly above my head in the waning evening light. Startled, I looked up. Directly overhead, sitting on a low maple tree branch was an enormous barred owl. I froze in place and stared at this magnificent animal for what felt like […]

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White Haze

Oct. 5, 2012–I never tire of the mountains of Western North Carolina. Part of the Appalachian range, they are believed to be between 450 – 600 million years old, making them among the oldest mountains on the planet – older than the tall peaks of the Asian Himalayans or the rugged crags of the North American Rockies. On a recent […]

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Finding That Something

Sept. 27, 2012 After a meeting on Monday, I was standing outside of the Episcopal church in my Virginia-Highlands neighborhood talking to Doug*. We were talking about our understanding of God, Higher Power, mystery . . . whatever that something is that’s bigger than ourselves and helps us find hope, peace and inspiration. For Doug, he finds that something in […]

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Waiting for the Light

Sept. 21, 2012 On my way home from Northwest in the evenings, I encounter an intersection with a traffic light and a regular visitor. Weaving his way through cars stopped at the red light is a gray-haired man wearing blue jeans and t-shirt holding a small cardboard sign that reads, “Homeless.” He quietly moves between the rows of stopped cars […]

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My Greening Awareness

Sept. 14, 2012 Seeing a gray rodent making a nosedive into a hole in the ground near my driveway was the last straw for me. After a week of encountering a few leggy centipedes in the basement and then tiny winged black insects coming from the laundry room sink (also in the basement), I reluctantly decided that I needed to […]

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A Time of Revelation

Sept. 7, 2012 I stayed up much too late last night watching the Democratic National Convention on television. A line from Michelle Obama’s speech caught my attention. She said, “I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. No, it reveals who you are.” Her comment reminded me that roles that combine leadership and service – roles […]

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