May The Road Rise to Meet You

May

the road rise

to meet you.

May the wind

be always

 at your back.

May the sun

shine

warm upon

your face,

the rains fall soft

upon your fields,

and when

we meet again,

May God

hold you

in the

palms of

His hand.

There are many versions

of this Irish Blessing.

There are many

who claim

Irish ancestors.

The Irish diaspora

spreads

far and wide.

Even our first

African American

President

has Irish roots

on his mother’s side.

As the 69th

Regiment

parades down

New York’s

Fifth Avenue,

I claim a

great-grandfather

who was a member of

the “Fighting Irish Brigade”.

I can do a bit of the jig,

dancing to the
Irish Washerwoman toe tapping music.

In 8th grade,

I soloed

the lilting
“Rose of Tralee”.

In cap and gown,

high heeled shoes,

 with my college freshmen class,

we marched in the

parade in the snow.

Memories linger

smiles especially broad

on this green day.

Do you have

a bit of Irish

on this day?

May the road rise to meet You.

Rehearsal Skirt

At this time of the year

when

shorter days of light,

holidays

and holydays

combine,

many people,

maybe most,

wear

a mixed

rainbow of feelings.

Sadness

from past

and

present,

pleasure,

joy

sometimes

collide

with outer

appearances,

sparkling lights,

jingle bells,

and our own selves.

How to reconcile

the different streams?

A dear friend

in the theater

told me

about

preparing for a role.

“Put on a rehearsal skirt.”

This season

as I dress to go out,

I put on

my rehearsal skirt.

I am not

playing a role

other than myself.

I am tuning into the

joy

which lives

in my heart

next to the

sadder feelings.

Each time

I return home,

I realize

the rehearsal skirt

helped me

BE

in the happier self.

I am reminded that

dark

and light

are part of the

seasons

and living

as a human being

in a world

where

living

in each moment

is the gift

of Being.

Milestones

Tomorrow

is

my birthday.

Decades declare milestones.

At certain ages

there can be

the realization

that there are fewer

years ahead

than

already lived.

Mid-life

it is called.

Demographers

and cultural observers

 now offer

more gradations than

young,

middle aged

and old.

Early middle age,

middle age

late middle age.

At what point

does your category

become early old age?

Are you in

middle old age

and when

really old age?

For some,

lifespans

extend into the ninth and

even tenth decade.

When Social Security

was made available

at 65,

people weren’t

expected to live

much beyond that.

For some,

there can be

many decades

beyond

that mark.

How to live

these years,

whatever they are called?

Wisdom

offers

the suggestion

to shed

as we age.

Things,

images of ourself,

expectations,

hopes,

dreams,

disappointments.

Shedding

seems to say

that

growth stops

at some point.

Adults

we are.

Approaching

this birthday,

I am beginning

to understand

that letting go

is a better perspective

of what no longer

serves me.

Traveling

lighter,

I

hope

I

am

Growing

Into

Older

Age.

Learning,

growing.

Shifting gears,

slows me

to follow

the Inner Light

to savor

each moment,

each friend,

loved one

and stranger.

Sometimes the

Light

offers

a clear path.

Sometimes

intuition

brings

me on the path

I cannot

see

in this moment.

THOUGHT LEADER

Thought Leaders

are especially

important

during times of

Disruptive Innovation,

a concept

used in

this time

when things

aren’t working

and ways of thinking and doing

must be changed.

Since Pope Francis was chosen,

he has become a

powerful

THOUGHT LEADER.

From his first moments

Pope Francis

showed his

humility

asking for us

to pray for him.

He chose

simple garments,

comfortable black shoes,

paid his own hotel bill,

moved into a

simple apartment.

During Holy Week,

he washed the feet of the poor,

not all Catholics.

He told priests

to be merciful and compassionate

 towards those who are divorced

women who have had

abortions.

When asked about homosexuals,

he replied,

“Who am I to judge?”

Smiling,

he loves everyone

and in return,

he is loved.

The rules have not necessarily changed,

but the

TONE

has completely.

This change in tone is

Francis’

greatest achievement,

and it is HUGE!

In this

political season,

candidates

could learn

because Pope Francis

is an astute politician

in the best sense of the word.

As a South American

he sees the entrenched Vatican

as needing to be cleaned up,

finances and favoritism,

swept out.

Reflecting

compassion.

the tone,

the message

is that God is a God

of LOVE,

not JUDGMENT.

The Church’s role

is to make God

accessible.

Coming to the United States,

his first trip to North America,

he will speak

at the United Nations,

address Congress,

say Mass in Madison Square Garden.

Popular entertainers will

engage people,

using their words and music

to

open up people’s senses

to the music of their hearts.

Disruptive Innovation.

Bring it on!

Savoring

Savor

Senses

Sensual!

Our brains

receive information

from our senses

seeing

hearing

tasting

touching

smelling.

Our brains are particularly

sensitive

and respond

to direct

experience.

This is our

basic

form of  learning.

Virtual

learning

and habit

dull

our senses.

Our brains respond

to new

input.

Routine

Repetition

dulls

our senses.

We are not enjoying

and experiencing

the sensuality.

When we have

fixed ideas

of things

-we miss

so much.

When we encounter them

we want to experience

with new eyes,

real awareness.

Take a strawberry.

Enjoy the redness,

the fresh

green leaf and stem.

Smell the berry.

Feel its shape.

Small

or gigantic?

Skirted with chocolate?

Think of the

earth the plant

grew in.

Feel the rain

needed to

bring

that sweetness.

Feel your saliva

wetting

your mouth

to receive

this beautiful

single strawberry.

An Unexpected Rainbow

June has been quite dry,

little rain.

While eating dinner

last night,

the sky opened with a loud roar

and heavy rain fell down

refreshing the greenery,

washing the pollens

and dust, leaving everything

looking shiny and refreshed.

The view out the back

is wooded and buildings.

As the pelting rain

eased up,

the remnants of

the sun pierced through

and a rainbow appeared.

Rainbows don’t usually

show up

with the blocked view.

An unexpected rainbow.

We stood and paused,

in the moment

in wonder.

I cannot tell you

how long we stood there

as the rainbow’s edges

faded into the sky

or wherever

rainbows go

after astonishing us.

An unexpected rainbow

can be the bridge

to the surprise

and mystery of life.

Where do they

begin

and where do they end?

Perhaps the rainbow

takes a leap from

one place to another and begins again.

Discovering

as a young child does,

experiencing things

in the moment

never the same,

as we bridge our own lives to another’s.

Revelation, Celebration

“Sunlight fell

upon the wall;

the wall received a borrowed

splendor.

Why set your heart

on a piece of earth,

O simple one?

Seek out the source

which shines forever.”

Rumi, Sufi mystic poet

“The universe unfolds in God,

who fills us

completely.

Hence,

there is a mystical

meaning to be found

in a leaf,

in a mountain trail,

in a dewdrop,

in a poor person’s face.”

Pope Francis in Laudato Si his encyclical on the environment

Praise Be to You

“The initiate

will capture

what is being said

when the wind blows,

the trees sway,

water flows,

flies buzz,

doors creak,

birds sing,

or in the

sound of strings or flutes,

the sighs of the sick,

the groans

of the afflicted.”

Ali-al-Khawas, a 9th century mystical  Sufi Muslim poet