Be Kind. There’s Strength in Sensitivity.

I’ve been wanting to write a post about this for a long while but this morning I had a giant push when I opened Facebook, that bad neighborhood I left for almost a year until coronavirus. I follow Maine comedian Bob Marley who posts funny daily “Crona Watch” videos. His latest was about a chipmunk making a hole in his yard and directly underneath the video were people bragging about the cruel methods they use to kill the chipmunks in their yard. One shoots them with a BB gun because they eat some of their strawberries. Another gave instructions on how to use the bucket method of drowning them. I didn’t click through the comments–these were the featured comments that are shown without clicking. Also making the rounds is a viral video of a cruel squirrel slinger that people find to be so hilarious.

I used to feel embarrassed and ashamed of being “sensitive”. I used to think it put me at a disadvantage. I’ve come to discover how a sensitive heart is what will save us. Taking pleasure in and advertising that one kills a warm-blooded mammal without a mean bone in its body because of vanity (a hole in my yard! some of my berries are gone so I’ll starve to death!) is evil. Being not only cavalier about taking a life because of a minor “infraction” but advertising it online, like LOOK HOW COOL I AM HAHA is a dystopian world where adults act like sociopathic teenagers trolling for attention. 
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Something Supernatural in the Cemetery

Yesterday at daybreak Wayne and I went for a walk at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland. Walking in and photographing old graveyards and cemeteries has been a passion of mine for many years. If you haven’t seen my past blog posts please click the link, I think you’ll enjoy them. I didn’t sleep the night before because I had spent much of it crying and laying awake thinking about the hawk and Buddy. I wanted to honor his life and make peace with his passing in a somber, spiritual setting while getting some fresh air and exercise with Wayne. I also sensed there was something I needed to see.

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Blustery Beauty at Higgins Beach

I got a parking spot at my favorite beach!!!! I smelled ocean air (40 degree air, but I’m no longer picky!) instead of whiffs of Clorox! As a way to prevent crowding my town of Scarborough closed the beach parking lots except for a small portion of one at Pine Point. They technically did not close the beaches nor did they prohibit VERY limited parking along the street so that those who live within walking distance can still go as well as those who could snag a spot. Today was my lucky day! It’s the first time in over three weeks that I actually went for a drive anywhere. (My wedding ring still fits, ha! I take it off at home.) I really needed to at least see and smell the sea from my car. I was so thrilled that I was able to actually park and take a quick, socially-distanced walk!

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Grace Before Meals For This Recovering Ingrate

When I first started “eating retro” and lost weight over ten years ago I was leaving behind the tyranny of an insatiable appetite which seemingly stemmed from two issues: my relationship to food and eating junk. Underlying the usual analysis of overeating and weight loss was that I was feeling sorry for myself. Why? Because I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted when I wanted without consequences. I was also attached to the illusion that a lifestyle of eating too much, especially sugar and refined carbs was somehow good for my soul. I mistook edible artifice for nourishment. I was always “hungry” but was feeding the wrong appetite. I was focused on eating all the things instead of seeing all the gifts from a healthy relationship to and with food. Why would I, right? Shouldn’t I be entitled to unlimited access to what was mine? Did God put food on my table? No! I worked hard to put that food on the table, and why even talk about God when all I wanted was an Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

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Blessing of the Animals: The Degu Sisters

The Episcopal church commemorates St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals, by offering a blessing to all creatures brought to a service by their caretakers, usually in October. Our summer church, St. Ann’s in Kennebunkport, offers the blessing in July. Luckily for us Rev. Sara D’Angio White, a visiting pastor at an Episcopal church just a mile away from where we live readily agreed to perform a blessing of the degus right in our home!

For the week leading up to this morning I let the Degu Sisters know that the “Holy Lady” would soon be coming to honor and bless them. (Someone suggested that we have the Rev. bless only one of the sisters to see if there is a difference in behavior afterward, ha!)

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Lunch at Marie Joseph Spiritual Center

We had a lunch date with Sister Aline today at Marie Joseph Spiritual Center which also has a new French-trained chef for their dining hall. Wayne had the stuffed pork and a piece of blueberry cake and I enjoyed stir-fried veggies, rice, roasted acorn squash and steamed asparagus. Most importantly we got to visit with Sister Aline whom I hadn’t seen since our wedding. Despite the cold temps and blustery winds gusting over 40 mph I had to take a quick walk to the beach!

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Sunday Morning Prayer by George Dawson, 1876

O Lord of life, and Lord of love! Love us into life, and give us life to love Thee. And if the passion of our souls go not out toward Thee, yet let obedience and quiet godliness be ours, until such time as faithful doing shall bring gladsome singing, and thy statutes, which once were but statutes to us, shall “become our songs in the house of our pilgrimage.”

O Lord of boundless life, grant us life enough to put life into all things, that when we travel o’er this part of our life, and it seems but dust and barrenness, we may be of those who hope in Thee. Smite Thou the rock, that water may come. Touch this barrenness, till all things bloom. Touch those of us whose life is barrener than it need be— lacking knowledge and beauty, filled with petty interests and foolish cares, growing no Rose of Sharon, no flowers of God. Lord, forgive us that our life is so poor, and grant us the thoughts of God, that we may be enabled for the time to come to make this very desert blossom as the rose.

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Our Christmas 2018

This was the first Christmas for Wayne and I as a married couple, so for the weeks leading up to it we talked about what we will do to create lasting traditions. Tradition is such a comforting word in an uncertain world, isn’t it? Yet things didn’t happen as we had hoped. The cold I had from last week continues to steal my voice and morphed into a nasty cough, the kind that leaves my ribs aching, so I’ve been consuming lots of cough syrup, lozenges and medicinal teas. Because of that we obviously needed to forgo a Christmas Eve service, something we really had been looking forward to doing, especially after missing church on Sunday. Yet things turned out in ways we couldn’t have anticipated.

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Why I Wrote a Letter to Santa Claus Yesterday

When I was little the idea of Santa Claus gave me permission to dream beyond my means and reality. It didn’t matter what was happening in my life, the realities of budgets or whether he would deliver. When I made my list and handed it to my Nana, “Santa’s Helper” as she referred to herself, there was an exciting passage of a few weeks when it seemed that anything was possible.

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A New England Victorian Family Bible

I purchased this beautiful 19th century leather-bound family bible at the flea market this summer. I love the vision of a Christian family sitting together around it, reading and praying together. It’s very heavy, weighing about fifteen pounds!

Every weekday morning Wayne reads an excerpt to me from one of my smaller-sized vintage bibles and then we reflect on it together. We started from Genesis and have made our way to the New Testament this past year. I truly cherish this time we spend together and the opportunity to speak from our hearts, free of judgement, about what we’ve read. 

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