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Tag Archives: Religion & Spirituality

 

When I say that I am grateful for shelter, here I am speaking of that which offers protection from what ever it is that threatens to destroy or maim us. Whether it be family, friends, a chapel or place of worship, prayer or words from our holy writings, I am speaking of those things that offer respite from life’s vicissitudes we all encounter at one time or another. Those places that we retreat to, or seek out, when we need to get away, clear our minds and heal our souls. When I think of shelter I think of our apartment or house, a place that protects us from nature’s elements. I also think of the bookstore where I can sit and write or read and nourish my mind. But today I reminisce about a place under beautiful Cherry Blossom Trees, their fronds reaching to the ground, where I could steal in under its branches, sit in the cool of the shade (even on the hottest of days) and be sheltered from sight, a place where I often meditated. Given the crisis of the past week, I am grateful for the shelters we find, places of prayer, places to ponder the meaning and purpose of our lives, the places of retreat that give us space to regroup, refresh, then re-engage. I am grateful for our many shelters in life.

 

Someone in Maria’s family shot this photo while they were all vacationing together in Arizona. I love this picture. They look so happy (and tanned!) This past weekend Tim, Maria and Genevieve visited us in our new place. We are all excited that after years of nomadic wandering, Richard and I are living a mere two-hour drive from our son and his family. We laughingly tease that we are far enough away not to get into each others’ business, close enough to visit when desired. It was a glorious day for us. The sun shone bright, the breeze blew gentle, and the laughter wafted far and wide. My children have grown into fine, responsible young adults. That was always my prayer for them. As much as I miss them when they are gone, I remind myself that they have exceeded this mother’s hope and prayers that they become mature, responsible, thankful adults. My daughters still live far away, and who knows if they will ever live within the two-hour radius this momma fantasizes about. But they, too, are a joy to watch as they navigate their adult years and raise their children. So in true empty nester style, I am grateful for my adult children, and always grateful for  visits from the kids!

We often take “freedom of religion” for granted.  But as I drive through cities and towns, country roads and major highways, I am struck at the variety of religions I see represented in this country.  Most often we see rural churches or city cathedrals, each attesting to the fact that there is a congregation of Christian worshipers in that community.  Less often we see synagogues or Jewish learning centers where study of religious writings and teachings take place.  Mosques are becoming more visible, too, indicating that Islam is present here.  A couple of days ago my husband and I were driving through a rural area of VA when we spotted a beautiful Buddhist pagoda. Buddhists in rural VA.  Imagine that!  I am Jewish.  The photograph depicts some of my Jewish books.  The fact that I am able to practice my beliefs even while people of differing religions or no religion at all practice their’s is something for which I am extremely thankful.

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