Thursday, June 28, 2012


     Summer.  It’s shoes off time - that time of year when the shoe pile at the foot of the stairs grows ever larger - a pile of flip flops, Chacos, Tevas, running shoes. You know it’s summer when footwear gets kicked off at the door.  And this week, with both girls home, shoes will be everywhere.

     Taking off your shoes says “I’m slowing down, I’m through with the “doing” of the day, now I can just ‘be.’”  In summer, it’s a kick back moment, but it’s also a moment to remember the goodness of the life we live.   God stopped Moses in his tracks.  “Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."    My back porch is not Horeb, the mountain of God, and I don’t see a burning bush anywhere close by, but moments at home, of being family, of simply being present to life can be all be holy ground, if I can pause long enough to let that awareness sink in. 

     In Seasons of Your Heart, Macrina Wiederkehr writes “Taking off your shoes is a sacred ritual...It is a way of celebrating the holy ground on which you stand.  If you want to be a child of wonder cherish the truth that time and space are holy.  Whether you take off your shoes symbolically or literally matter little.  What is important is that you are alive to the holy ground on which you stand and to the holy ground that you are.” 

     So, go kick off your shoes, celebrate summer and remember you are holy ground.


Ridin Solo

I took the kids to see Disney's Brave and was pleasantly surprised to see a strong heroine, Merida, who doesn't need to be rescued by a prince. She whips out arrows while on horseback, nailing targets on the move. Disney is way overdue is sending out a healthier message to young girls about following their talents and passions, without waiting on that perfect prince.
In author Eric Klinenberg's book, "Going Solo," he makes the interesting observation that we're becoming a nation of independent souls who are crafting new ways of going solo. In 1950, only 22 percent of American adults were single, but that has changed today to be 50 percent with 31 million—roughly one out of every seven adults—living alone. He brings out the fact that our demographics are changing with the number of people living alone making up 28 percent of all U.S. households, which makes them more common than any other domestic unit, including the nuclear family. I'll be honest. As a family gal, that makes me sort of sad.
But you have to love Brave's heroine Merida. She stays true to herself, refusing to chose a husband she doesn't love. More importantly, she learns the lesson of pride and how it tears the fabric of relationships, a lesson she'll dearly need should her prince-sometimes-charming ever show.
         For that matter, even if he doesn't.
The best movie I've seen in awhile is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where a bunch of people on their last leg so to speak find more authentic ways to live their lives and relate to others. I think we have to drop our masks and Hollywood conditioning to do that. I caught myself in Brave looking for the Hollywood "love interest" part of the script. Good for Disney, he was a no show. Merida had to do the hard work of growing all by herself.

     Never thought to find myself here,
     On this middle-land, this in-between.
     Water on either side, tide rising.
     Where do I go?
     I've come too far to return.
     A growing pool separates me from the safety of beach.
     But out there, in the depths,
     Who knows what I'd find?
     Or what might find me?
     I don't have all I need to go that way.
     Maybe in time, I will.
     But the tide is rising faster than my courage.


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