Peace for your Path...

"peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (unknown)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

my little slice of Heaven

Juno Beach, FL at the old "Turtle Tunnel" walkover 

sunshine work

The best place for me to learn to listen is always the Ocean...

they're back - the leatherbacks!

shadow walk

Is this a photographic example of "juxtaposition" ?!? Perhaps....

I came across this huge piece of driftwood today lying flat on the beach not far from where we saw our upright "Ebenezer" just after New Year's Day (see photo in sidebar of this blog for the story). Of course I had to stop and photograph it. I was struck by the capturing of my own shadow beside it in the sand on my first shot, so I moved my lens a bit to make more room for me and snapped again.

Me. Beside wood. Adrift.

I came to the beach this morning to do some personal shadow work so the synchronicity of this finding was not wasted in the least. When I first arrived, I could not begin to silence the chatter in my busy brain. All kinds of dialogue about all kinds of "stuff". It took quite a while of walking before I finally began to hear the splashing sounds of my feet in the water and the surf as spilled over the shells. The water was making that special wind-chime music that I love. I finally started hearing my feet strike the sand, and then I began focusing on my breathing trying to slow everything down.

I rolled up my wet shorts and tied up my t-shirt to feel the full warmth of the sun's rays against my belly and thighs. I walked side-by-side with sandpipers and rescued a wet-winged bee half buried in the sand with a piece of sea glass that I almost threw back because I didn't think it was quite "done". Thank goodness I kept it as it was just the right size and shape for bee-scooping. At first I thought the bee was missing a wing, but after a while in the dry sun and sand, she began to fly again in short little bursts. Resilient.

I sat on a rock for a while and prayed rambling prayers of hope. I photographed Leatherback sea turtle nests and picked up plastic trash from the wrack line that they might mistake for jellyfish if it washed back into the ocean. A piece of swallowed plastic bag can cause an excruciatingly painful, slow death for a sea turtle. I reflected that it's we careless humans who are the real trash on the beach and then I started getting grumpy and judgmental again, and so I started walking once more.

On the way back, I passed the rainbow colored condos where I know that someday I am destined to live. I have known that since the first day I saw them many years ago. I just haven't decided which color yet I will pick - coral, blue, or green. Life is full of so many choices.

And as always there were my flip flops waiting for me right where I'd left them. I always smile when I see them. There is a beach code of trust here in Florida. Never pick up two flip flops placed together. One flip flop on the beach near the water is likely trash, but two flip flops near the dunes or the walkovers or the sidewalks are off-limits. Some beach comber or surfer or walker has placed them there on purpose, and it is very bad karma to remove them.

When we first moved here, we did not know about this code, and my husband picked up a pair of black sandals lying out by the street late one evening with no cars in sight. They were just his size. We thought it was great luck at the time, but I truly believe now that those flops need to go right back to where we found them. I think we need to include a note tied to them that says "Sorry, beach friend, but we just didn't know the code. We thought these were meant for us, but now we understand we were wrong. Thanks for lending us your shoes for the last seven years. They have carried us a lot of places. Peace for your Path."

Or something like that...

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Use of Juxtapose |

I did really like the photo in this article. Wasn't sure of the copyright so thought I'd share the whole article. Kind of helped me a bit....The Use of Juxtapose


This word has fumbled around in my brain for a few years now...

Juxtapose means "To place together; put side by side." But the letters and the sounds of the letters blended into the word feel more like a jumbled mess in my head rather than an orderly, deliberate action. They feel like life can feel to me sometimes when I spend too much time lost in my thoughts and frozen in space and place.

Honestly, I am incredibly glad these forty days of Lent are finally over. Easter morning was more of a relief than a Joy to me this year. I finally managed to put up a couple of decorations late Saturday afternoon and even successfully cooked and tie-dyed six eggs with my son (I started with a dozen - seriously I do not cook). But through the whole weekend, I just felt like I was swimming under water: tear-blurry vision, clogged ears, pruny fingers and hard to take a full breath.

So many incredible things happened this Lent like the matzah bread and our little Seder dinner. Maundy Thursday's labyrinth walk for me was particularly special as I sat under the live oak trees. Earth Day falling on Good Friday was very emotionally significant, too, and I really felt the pain of our struggling planet. I set the intention of not giving up anything this Lent but rather adding a spirit of gratitude and I think I did a fairly good job of that (sort of).

But anyway...

See? This is my trap - looking backwards and trying to understand it all rather than moving forward. Ugh.

Today, I just read the Earth Day 4/22 reading on my Simple Abundance calendar.

"The search for authenticity is like living on a fault line; you never know when the earth is going to move beneath your feet. " - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Reading it now brought me full circle back to "juxtaposition" all over again. Maybe I'll sort this out soon...Let me know if you have any suggestions for me. I am open as can be right now to insight and enlightenment. Thanks.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day 2011

Prayers for our fragile planet from the center of the labyrinth. May all be well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

remembering the one year anniversary of the tragedy in the Gulf

One year ago today, the disaster in the Gulf began. We pause for OceanPrayer today for all the lives lost - past, present and future - because of this terrible tragedy. We pray for Wisdom as we humans work together to learn from our mistakes. May each of us begin to search our hearts for responsible ways to answer God's call and to truly become good stewards of the earth. Amen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the gift that started it all

Though we may never know who placed this gift on our doorstep, to that individual we say "thank you" for such a blessing....

lessons learned from the simplest source

red wine from the Holy Land

Our treasured friend, Joe, gave us two bottles of this Kosher wine from Israel following his trip there in 2005. We have saved them for a special occasion all these years. Last night seemed the right time to open one of the bottles. Very special...

our online guest

Here is the link to an "Introduction to a Christian Seder: Christian Passover"

This guide was so easy and wonderful! It took us step-by-step through our symbolic Seder last night.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Peace for your Passover Path

Can't wait to share more with you tomorrow about our very first family Seder dinner...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

learning more about Passover

Here is a great link I just found when searching online for a special way to incorporate our gift of the Matzah bread since Passover begins tomorrow at sundown:

link to the new web page featuring the labyrinths of Grace Cathedral

Palm Sunday Palms and Prayers

May each one of you be blessed... Love, Robin

don't be afraid of sharks, just be informed...

Here are some great links I just found about shark conservation. If you know of more, please share them with me and with each other. We need to protect these amazing creatures as they are vital to our oceans' fragile ecosystems:

loved this movie: Soul Surfer

However, I am deeply troubled as to why the movie had to include the part about the shark being killed. This seems to be in conflict with interviews I have read with Bethany Hamilton about how she does not want the movie to depict sharks in a bad light. I really do wish this part had not been included in the movie...I did a little online research and found an article from 2003 suggesting that the shark was not hunted out of revenge, but the movie seems to suggest otherwise.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

memories of happy times volunteering with sea turtles

Back when I was a new volunteer at the Marinelife Center of Juno Beach in 2005, Jupiter Magazine did a feature article on us. I was captured in a photograph with one of my favorite sea turtles, Hattie. Hope you enjoy the memories, too! It was such a fun five years that I spent there....

Friday, April 15, 2011

an update on our matzah mystery

Over the past two days, I have spoken to all four of our immediate neighbors, and they are as intrigued with this mystery as we are. No one has claimed the Matzoh, so, at this point we are taking inspiration from GreenFaith, and considering hosting our own tiny interfaith Seder dinner on Monday night.

We figure, "if life gives you Matzoh, it's time to learn more about Passover!"

Here is a link to wonderful photos from GreenFaith's Facebook page of their interfaith Seder last week. How cool is this idea?!? I just love it!!/media/set/fbx/?set=a.190537127657992.46985.106245929420446

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

mysterious matzah

We just discovered this outside our front door. Freshly baked, wrapped Matzah in a pizza box with writing along the edges explaining the significance of its place in the Seder dinner. A fascinating gift, but most likely delivered to our address in error. If you are missing this very special Shmurah (which means "watched" in Hebrew I just learned - very cool) Matzah, please do let us know!

the benefits of labyrinths in healthcare settings

Here is a great article from the The Labyrinth Society website:

Here is the American Cancer Society's page on labyrinths:

Here is a list of labyrinths in hospital settings:
(also remember to check on The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator)

Check, too, in some of our archived issues of The Veriditas Labyrinth Journal, "The Spirit of Veriditas, Voices From the Labyrinth" for great articles on labyrinths in healthcare settings (we are working on new ones, too, so be sure and email me)!

I will try them Sam I Am

Dr. Seuss was the primary author to foster my life-long love affair with books, so I had to take this photo last weekend in Orlando in honor of the very first book I ever read all by myself!

Please join us next week for Third Thursdays on the Labyrinth at Good Shepherd

Hi Walkers,

I'll be at the labyrinth for our monthly open walk on Thursday, April 21st from 11am to 1pm. All are invited! For those of the Christian faith tradition, I will have some special Lenten materials for your personal reflection time since our walk will fall on Maundy Thursday this month. Additionally, since the next day is Earth Day we will have a very special Green Theme, too, and a chance to enjoy time for silent OceanPrayers.

The following evening, on April 22nd, we will have a special Good Friday candlelight labyrinth walk immediately following Taize services in the sanctuary which will occur from 7:30pm until 8:45pm. Come for both events or just join us to walk the beautiful outdoor labyrinth under a quiet, moonlit April sky...

Visit the Good Shep website for more details.

See you on the Path!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

this is my wish too...let's make it happen together

Thanks Tom for introducing me to The Charter for Compassion, and thanks Sara for the link to this TED talk. I have been feeling this urging to do something so strongly in my heart wherever I seem to go these days. Over and over again, in the most difficult places imaginable, I have been called to speak compassion into a group conversation when it would have been so much easier to be silent (when I prayed that God would please just let me stay silent to avoid conflict). Knowing now that others are feeling this same intensity to try and understand each other no matter what our beliefs, to meet each other where we are and to above all LOVE each other no matter what our faith tradition might be is an answer to prayer and an encouragement to my heart...

Peace for your Path,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

smooth stones placed by small hands

I was very grateful for the opportunity to spend the morning at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd facilitating two very different types of labyrinth walks. The first was for a group of young children, and then the second walk was for their parents.

The theme of the family retreat was "Solid Together". With this in mind, I gathered some stones from my side yard early this morning. I washed them off in my laundry room sink and then placed them in a basket at the entrance of the labyrinth once I got up to church. Walkers were invited to select a stone and walk with it into the labyrinth if they wanted to do so. The idea was for them to leave their solid stone around the Christ candle in the center of the labyrinth as they took some time to reflect on their own personal walk of faith.

The kids loved this idea and totally made it their very own. In a few seconds, all the stones were grabbed and run directly to the center, carried lovingly by tiny, excited hands. The children worked together to create a unique way to encircle the Christ candle, laughing with Joy and then taking off to run through the labyrinth with exuberance and delight. A few kids chose to walk the path after that on their own, yet most just enjoyed quiet time in the sunshine to draw pictures for their parents, run their hands in the flowing water of the fountain, ring the chimes, trace wooden finger labyrinths and visit with each other amidst the surrounding trees and beauty of nature.

In contrast, the adults' walk was equally lovely but much more quiet and contemplative. Though only a few of the grown-up walkers chose stones to carry with them to the center, these were just as lovingly placed with careful intent and serious purpose around the Christ candle with prayer.

These two labyrinth walks occurred within just a few minutes of each other in the exact same location by members of the same families, and yet each experience was so very different to witness.

This event was, undoubtedly, just as God intended it to be. It was a blessed reminder to me that ALL personal forms of worship are equally acceptable to the God who loves us and that we can learn much from the wisdom and the joyful ways of our children....