Movement and Roots

A few weeks ago, I packed up and moved. I almost added “again” to the end of that sentence, because there have been a lot of moves, a lot of movement.

How do you make routine, make meaning, stay grounded when everything changes every few weeks? How do you be when all is change, adjustment, movement? These are the questions I’ve been asking myself.

I am grateful to be grounded within a community. I may be moving around, but for now, I can still bake a pie for a friend in need in a borrowed kitchen. I can still be present to those around me, and somehow through that, be present to myself.

Perhaps unexpectedly, early mornings at the office, before others arrive, have become a place to reintegrate some of the practices of the last nine months. Quietly humming morning prayer, murmuring psalms (who would have thought that I’d willingly say morning prayer again after saying it at 6am every day in Boston?).

There’s also the sustenance of hope, of dreaming about the near future. There’s the excitement of having my own room again for an academic year, the planning of which plants will adorn my windowsill, the eagerness of recovering some of my clothes from storage.

For now, I’m in a time of movement, of change. But this transition has roots that are just beginning to reveal themselves. And for that, I am grateful.

Living in Community: Eucharist in the Difficult Times

I’ve had the odd experience this year of being able to answer the “what do you do” question with “Oh, I’m interning at a monastery”. Sometimes it comes off as a rather flippant answer–one of those I’m-doing-something-really-unusual/cool-and-I-know-it answers.

But after having lived this experience, 24/7, for the past nine months, I must confess that it isn’t really that unusual or glamorous most of the time. Most of the time, you’re just trying to work as best you can in community with others, with a little sleep and a lot of prayer. There are joyous times, and there are difficult times.

It’s an experience of living in close quarters with people who you would have never chosen to hang out with, or would have liked to know as friends, but not as roommates. But there’s something intimate about an experience of sharing prayer and worship in common that manages (despite everything) to unite us. It is a new experience of the Eucharist. Instead of just coming to church on Sunday to receive the sacrament, it is a sacrament that I receive every day… every minute of every day, in all of its glory, pain, transcendence. When I join the circle around the altar with my community, receiving the Eucharist becomes not just an individual act, but a common bond. I put out my hands to receive the bread, lift the chalice to my lips in a sub/conscious realization that despite everything, we are all here, sharing these gifts.

Perhaps this is something that you can relate too, perhaps not in the Eucharist, maybe not in a church or religious sense at all. The difficult times, broken by a moment of realizing the potential of what it all might be, might mean, how it might transcend the gritty dirt of day-to-day existence.

This passage from Hebridean Altars has helped me a lot this year, and I share it now with you:

“Seven times a day, as I work upon this hungry farm,
I say to Thee, ‘Lord, why am I here?
What is there here to stir my gifts to growth?
What great thing can I do for others–
I who am captive to this dreary toil?’

And seven times a day, Thou answerest,
‘I cannot do without thee.
Once did my son live thy life,
and did by His faithfulness did show
my mind, my kindness, and my truth to men.
But now He is come to my side,
and thou must take His place.'”


an update on new adventures

My chiropractor saw me wander in with a new book today, and casually asked me, “so, how many books do you read in a month?” I seesaw between boredom with reading options and personifying Belle, but apparently I’ve been doing a lot more of the latter lately.

Perhaps it’s fitting, as I just discovered a few weeks ago that I will be headed back to school in the fall. To seminary (trust me, I’m just as surprised as you are), dipping my toes into the realm of theology and the Church. You’ve probably seen it coming, with the amount of sermons I’ve posted here over the past year.

This blog won’t change all that much. It will still be reflection/musings-based, and once I acquire another DSLR, there will be more pictures of creative endeavors. I’ve been painting and baking a lot this year, and at some point, that will make it onto the blog. Overall though, I hope to keep this place as thoughtful and creative as possible.

I’ve updated my bio on the About page to reflect my current journey.

As always, do feel free to get in touch. If you’re a fellow blogger, I’d love to check out your corner of the internet, so head over to the contact page or leave a comment.

If you’re one of my long-time readers… thanks for being on this journey with me!

Taking Stock in a Freeze Frame

making a lot of really terrible watercolor sketches of flora and fauna. I’ve been posting the good ones on my Instagram page recently.

drinking tea, as per usual. I’m starting to fall into a rut with my morning brew, however. I think I need to try some new teas and add them into my daily rotation. Lately I’ve been craving the cinnamon-y goodness that is the House Harvest blend from House of Steep. Fortunately I was able to restock on this one a few weeks ago!

wanting sleep. On the bright side, it is a simple request. On the not-so-bright side, there’s still 48+ hours until the next morning I can sleep in.

watching a netflix documentary series called Chef’s Table which is really brilliant. It’s only feeding my current obsession in regards to food/cooking/baking.

reading a couple of things. I’m still finishing Walden, still working on Pure Act, just started Four Loves. I think I need a novel to read. (Also, I think I’m becoming one of those multiple-books-at-one-time people and I’m not a fan.)

listening to Delta Rae’s new EP, Vanessa Carlton, and a random assortment thanks to Spotify’s new Daily Mix playlists.

eating nothing at the moment. I did, however, rediscover the joy of creamy goat cheese spread on marble rye bread a few nights ago, which is something I plan on repeating.

wishing that it wasn’t snowing on March 31st (thanks Boston…).

enjoying watercoloring every day, and taking things slowly in my free time. I’ve been rushing around a lot this year to try and finish paperwork for various things, and I’m finally at a point that is mostly paperwork-free. I’m enjoying that.

hoping that spring arrives at some point so I can resume almost-daily walks out of doors.

needing to know whether I should repot several succulents that have decided to shoot up by inches over the past few weeks. I also need to decide what dessert I’m making this weekend for Sunday dinner.

following almost nothing, actually. The only thing I’ve been keeping an eye on recently has been my Instagram feed, which is filled with art and lots and lots of baking goodness.

feeling tired, but peaceful.

wearing nothing interesting. I did discover, however, on a recent trip, that most of my wardrobe is black, which makes for an interesting dig through a suitcase.

bookmarking mostly recipes. Like this Simnel Cake from Make Ready the Feast (yay liturgical eating!) and this Rugelach recipe from NYT Cooking.

loving creativity in all of its forms.