Robin’s Egg Blue

Part of the Pilgrimage Summer 2013 series.
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I saw the glint.
Robin’s Egg Blue
in the grass under
the cherry tree.

I stopped
crouched down
and picked up the
tiny half-shell.
And cradled it
in my hand.

As an eight year old,
I found a similar treasure.
I remember wondering:
How could something so fragile,
so precious,
be tossed out of the nest.
As if it didn’t matter.
To be crushed by my
black rubber boot,
had I not stopped and
noticed it.

I had taken the eggshell home
and placed it carefully
in a small jewelry box
and named it among my
eight year old treasures.

Today I stop,
as I walk between
dropping off a final project
at school, and
packing another box
at home.

And I hold this eggshell in my hand.

At thirty four and on the brink
of transition,
it makes more sense to me.

This shell has not been discarded
or tossed out of lack of reverence,
or care for its use.

This shell held,
with strength,
nurture,
beauty
and wisdom,
a little bird as it grew,
and was prepared.

This shell created the
boundaries and space
for the bird to become
who it is and then
patiently released
as it was pecked at,
broken,
split
open
for the bird
to emerge.

Then, its work done,
the pale blue eggshell,
ever so gracefully,
drifted to the earth,
ready to be mulched
back into the cycles,
a witness to the container
from which the bird
would fly.

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Loosening Threads

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Part of the Pilgrimage Summer 2013 series.

In order to go on pilgrimage, you must leave somewhere. Be it physical or metaphysical, in order to go, you must leave. And in leaving, that place becomes part of your journey.

I have begun weaving the stitches (crocheting actually, but that doesn’t sound nearly as poetic) into the pilgrimage prayer shawl. As I have final visits, pack boxes, sit in a classroom one more time I stitch in snapshots.

I try to pay attention as I drive these street that have become so familiar to me over the past few years.

The Milk House mural at the end of my ally. Covering a whole wall with the words, “The Most Convenient Connivence Store in town.”

The cherry blossoms and magnolias, the iris and daffodils, overflowing and reminding me this is my third spring here.

The way the path curves around under the bridge in the gorge, and my favorite tree root, twisted into a seat, poised on the edge, leaning over the stream.

The red gate through which I walk for the healing of acupuncture and the wisdom of spiritual direction.

The walk to school, where to cross, through two alleys, one jaywalk on a quiet day. And the crosswalk where I continue my delicate battle of teaching Richmond drivers about pedestrian rights without getting run over.

Clear-Creek Co-Op and Roscoes Coffee shop, Firehouse BBQ with their pulled pork nachos that are always lunch AND dinner. Incomparable in size however (though far superior in ingredients and taste) to the nachos from Joe’s Pizza which come an a full-sized round pizza pan, loaded with chips, chopped pepperoni, ham and melted cheese. There was the night Hoot and I sang there, and the night we broke out in a polka. And Pete’s Corner Cafe where I had lunch with Carole today, as we have many times before, eating the burger with no bun and hearing from Pete about the newest recipe he’s trying.

People’s faces fly by my eyes as I think of the rich conversations over theses tables, cup of tea or glass of wine in hand.

Threads of this life in this town.
Do I un-weave them?
Or simply loosen their daily hold?
I thank them for being the fabric of a season.

Pilgrimage Summer 2013

yarnThis summer holds many things for me. This is my smorgasbord summer, chock full of ordination requirements, classes, travel, and moving.  It is the summer where I will pack up my things at the beginning of May in Richmond Indiana and unpack a mere carload of them in a yet to be found home in San Francisco at the end of August. It is the summer where my Sherpani carry-on suitcase and I (a splendid birthday gift from a dear friend) will become close companions. It is a summer where I fear I could feel disconnected, homeless, overwhelmed, and unraveled.

Thanks to the wise spiritual direction and coaching of Amy and Martha, and the wisdom of the many saints who have pilgrimed before, I choose to be intentional about this journey. This summer is a pilgrimage. This summer is a beautifully connected series of events, which will be woven together with a divine thread that is already at work.  A journey of calling. A journey of discovery. A journey of adventure and service, exploration and growth.  An inward journey threading through the outward journey.

As part of intentionally paying attention to this Weaving of the Spirit, I am going to work on a prayer shawl as I travel.  Stitch after stitch in the foundation of cream-colored-cotton, creating a continuous framework. A framework that I will then weave in yarns and ribbons, colors and memories from each of the places I sojourn.

On this pilgrimage I remember that we are always held and breathing in the body of God, present in the gratitude, the beauty, the brokenness and the stories.  And that we do not walk alone.

And so I invite you, any of you, to pilgrim with me this summer. Whatever your plans are, whatever your travel itinerary might hold. Join in a summer of paying attention to what the Great Weaver is doing in your life. Together we can notice what practices sustain on the journey. Share snapshots of your pilgrimage, as I share mine.