Wednesday, June 23, 2010


While waiting for six women to arrive at Prairie Pond Woods this past Saturday for the Summer Reflective Retreat, I watched the sky blacken and the clouds move rapidly from the south and thought, "OK...I've never had a retreat rained out like this before...what is Plan B going to be?"  On top of this...the meteorolo-jests (as I've come to affectionately call them) were forecasting 92 degrees by the afternoon and high humidity! 

But the wind calmed a bit and it looked like the clouds were going to go right on by, until we were all finally gathered on the front porch for introductions and a poetry reading, then the clouds let go.  But with an ever so gentle shower.  I asked the ladies if they were game.  They were.  So we headed out!  I nicknamed them The Fritillary Group, because those were the only butterflies that braved the rain to nectar on butterflyweed or flutter about exploring the scent on the wind.  

And not only did the rain not deter these women, neither did the heat!  After lunch, most of them packed up their journals and water bottles and headed off to their favorite spots, picked out during our morning walk.  I was more than impressed!  

Later in the afternoon, when even the Fence Lizards were lounging in cooler micro-climates, we crafted Prayer Cards, sharing from our hearts why we chose these people or situations to pray for.  Spiritual connections were made.  New friends were made.  And the day ended all too soon.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


The universe is a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. And we have this from our first awakening to the universe. Your first impression when you see a flower or see a tree or see a sunset or see the ocean, or see anything in the natural world, your first impression is a communion experience. How wonderful this is: to live in the universe where there’s a sun in the heavens; where there’s so many wonderful creatures of Earth; where there's song of the birds and the butterflies and the cicada in the evening.

There’s one experience that I think has had a very deep influence on my life. When I was about ten years old I saw a meadow and I saw it first in spring time -- in early May.
  What is all this? Obviously, it’s not a collection of objects to be used. Obviously, it’s a world to be venerated. It’s a world to be communed with, to be present, to be delighted in, and together to have a certain experience that might be called ecstatic experience. A good economy is what makes that meadow survive. Good politics protects that meadow. A good religion is what enabled me to understand the deep mystery in the meadow.

If we don’t have certain outer experiences, we don’t have certain inner experiences or at least we don’t have them in such a profound way. We need the sun, the moon, the stars, the rivers and the mountains and the trees, the flowers, the birds, the song of the birds, the fish in the sea. All of this evokes something in our inner world, evokes a world of mystery. It evokes a world of Sacred and gives us that sense of awe and mystery.

Source: Thomas Berry