Friday, May 18, 2018

Gentleness and Strength

My ministry brings me into contact with many religious men and women from many different communities. It is a real privilege to get to know so many committed people. They do amazing works. Their hearts are so expansive. They have been ministers of Loving-Kindness for so long that they become echoes of the Heart of God.
Recently, I began working with a community that describes their charism as working in Gentleness and Strength. That is so lovely. I believe that their charism is a message for me at this time in my life. I am dealing with my aging parents. They are lovely people, and at the same time, they are dealing with their own diminishment and one with dementia. This community, with their charism of Gentleness and Strength is for me a reservoir that I can tap into as I help my parents and my family address the challenges of aging. 
This is an example of one of the key lessons I have learned: we are evangelized by those we serve. This community has asked for my assistance. At the same time, getting to know them I receive from them the gifts I need in another aspect of my life. And I'm sure that in working with my aging parents, I'm deepening the gentleness and strength that will help me to grow and to serve another in the circle of life, the circle of grace.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Ecovillage Living

I live in Dogtown Ecovillage - we are an urban community that is committed to building community and working for sustainability right here in my own neighborhood.
We each have our own home, mostly within a few blocks of each other. Close enough to walk to each other's houses for potlucks, parties, gatherings, spontaneous celebrations.
We gather for some more and less formal meetings each month when everyone on our list is invited -- over 100 people. Usually we have 12-18 people who join us for the monthly potluck. Some gather for a monthly coffee. Then we have group projects - gardens, sustainability projects, we've dreamed about several local business options: food coop, eco AirBnB, etc. We regularly share tools and rides and extra plants or harvests. I hear about play-dates for the kids and birthday parties. We share photos of our plants and the bugs we saw on them, the butterflies and birds we have spotted.
I invited the villagers in when we had a bumper crop of strawberries. We had lots of kids crawling over the patch - and ready reminders: pick the red ones, not the green ones.... All so much fun, so alive, so beautiful. I am most abundantly blessed.