an angel and a dog: an interim blessing

angel-and-dog

I’ve been in a creative cocoon, a lot going on inside, but not much to see from the outside. While hoping for a poem to emerge, I got this spontaneous sketch instead. It came from nowhere, like a blessing, and it made me smile.  I started with an arc which became the angel’s face, and I finished with a dog. It’s a simple drawing, but I hope you like it. And maybe you’ll be inspired to set your own pen down on a piece of spare paper and without thought or plan, follow the ink until the lines create a message and blessing just for yourself.

Need a friend?

purple-lotus

To Offer Friendship

Today I will be a friend.
I will reach out to one person
and invite them into my heart.
I will open the gate and let them
enter as they wish, at their own pace,
or even not at all, if that’s their choice.
I will offer love and the space
of stillness and curiosity.
I will bless their life with secret words.
If they harm me or never come back,
I will still have been a friend
and I will be ready for my next chance
to offer belonging.

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove - 2

Monday Morning Mary: Remain in Love

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove - 2

In These Times

You have turned to me
in disbelief, shaken
as the earth cracks
like bone
under the plan and force
of stricken minds.

How, you ask,
can this continue to happen?
How, you wonder,
can your tiny prayer matter?

I tell you now
that it does.
That all the tiny prayers
of the world
add up
like the grains of sand
that line the oceans.

Imagine yourself
on the shore of Holy Presence.
Release the answers
you have disguised as prayer.
Receive the messages of love
that arrive on soft waves.

Do not neglect such imagining.
It is prayer.

Walk now, back into your
day which is no longer ordinary,
and be a sanctuary.
Serve love.
Welcome love.
Remain in love.

 

Mary and Jesus in Ocean Grove

Photos taken by my sister, Christine. If you zoom in on the first one, you can see rain streaming like tears down Mother Mary’s face.

Monday Morning Mary: To Be Moved

cherry blossom 1

To Be Moved

When you make time
to travel to the cherry blossoms,
may you also clear your eyes

so that when you arrive
under the canopy of white lace,
the delicate spirit of each tiny flower
will have a direct path to your heart.

In this holy instant,
when your heart becomes a vase
as large as your being,
you will receive more beauty
than you thought possible.

Joy will rise inside you,
pure as water,
until you contain nothing else,

until you are fully moved,
and from your eyes
tears blossom.
Mary - Mariandale

 

Saturday the weather was gloomy, and the sky was as white as the blossoms, except for one brief patch of blue. But the thousands of cherry blossom trees at Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ were at the peak of bloom. The overcast skies in some ways made the blossoms appear all the more magical.

More scenes from Branch Brook Park, Newark NJ…

 

Irish Ancestor

Hudson sunset

Irish Ancestor

Even though your name is lost to me,
you appear in my mind from nowhere
like the sum of two easy numbers.

Even though I know nothing
of your village, your prayers, the stories
of your hearth and your departure,

behind my eyes,
your struggles gather
beside the pool of dreams.

You appear with your tangerine curls
half pinned up, half fallen
onto the shoulder of worn cloth.

You tell me
that the hammock of grief I sometimes feel myself fall into
runs deeper than the wounds of this lifetime.

You say I have carried your pain, like a stone,
without knowing—we all have,
one after the other,

from one side of the River Shannon
across streams and lochs and the great
Atlantic, into the hungry mouth of the Hudson.

You want me to drop it now,
this sorrow,
because enough is enough.

The gift you meant to give
was courage,
and however pale it seems to me

you have woven it securely in my aura,
a blessing to accompany me across the wild waters,
a light from you to those who follow.

Monday Morning Mary: Mercy

Mary 2 - Mariandale

Mercy

Mercy comes to me as a blanket
the color of pearls
and ferns
soft
with enough stretch
to cover the awkward angles of
misguided thought

delivered with uncanny timing
not mine
by four angels
who let the blanket
drift down like snow
upon my naked head

their opal wings
say something
I can almost hear

under this mercy
which I do not deserve,
because that is the point
of mercy,
I wonder, what have I learned,
and how am I to share
the pearls
 

 

Mary - Mariandale

Sunset on the Hudson River.

DSC_1914

 

DSC_1933

Photos in this post were taken on the grounds of Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center, New York.

12 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 11, Healing

glen bench

12 Things I Am Grateful For This Year
Day 11:  Healing

May you be healed.
May your body find balance.
May your energy return.
May whatever you carry that is not truly yours dissolve.
May health blossom in all the cleared spaces.
May you be peaceful and patient
while Divine Medicine and all its tributaries
rise and flush,
clear and nourish,
restore and heal
every system, cell, and space,
physical and infinite.
May your path today be light.

~~~

Mary at Capuchin

Our Lady of Grace, with an orb of light in the lower right,
as if it is a blessing that has just fallen from her hand

12 Days of Thanksgiving: Day 5, Water

 

water - wood dale park

12 Things I Am Grateful For This Year
Day 5: Water

Water blesses those
who take the time to wonder
while in its presence.

~~~

I still bless my water every day.

I also ask that rainwater be a blessing to all whom it touches.

And I am so grateful for the many ways in which beautiful water has flowed in my life this year. Here are a few photos from my travels.

 

water - hoboken 1

The Hudson River, from Hoboken, NJ

 

water - hoboken 2

Hudson River and Manhattan

 

water - hoboken freedom tower

Hudson River and the Freedom Tower

 

water - raritan bay

Raritan Bay, NJ. There’s always a beautiful breeze here, and the smell of salt air.

 

 

water - local stream

We moved this year to a new area where there are streams and brooks everywhere. This is one of them.

 

And here's another local brook.

And here’s another local brook.

 

water - manasquan inlet

Manasquan Inlet, NJ: looking out into the Atlantic Ocean.

 

water - piermont

The Hudson River in Piermont, NY

 

water - hudson at Cold Spring

The Hudson River where we kayaked in Cold Spring, NY. Incredibly beautiful and natural.

 

water - ogunquit

Ogunquit, Maine.

 

All the pictures from my Day 3 Thanksgiving post on Ideas were also taken from Ogunquit, Maine.

For me, water is a powerful, restorative presence, always a source of comfort, inspiration, and nourishment. May water be a blessing to you, too.