I am playing a little bit of catch up with the Lenten photo a day project. So here are my photos for the past several days.
This is the view just outside my apartment door when you look up to the sky. These two towering pines stand guard outside our bedroom windows. When doing work with the book The 12 Wild Swans, I made pine an ally. It has served me well. I have sung morning prayers to neighboring pines, grieved when the crown came down from my pine in the ice storm a few years back, cried under Georgia pines in full moon light, and come to think of them as guardians. They tower like a blanket, like a cover overhead. Though now that I am in Florida I am learning about pine pollen and my allergies have been feeling a little less fond of Pine.
This chalice was made by my mentor and friend, Rev. Kerry Mueller. It moves around my house but typically resides on the dining table where it is lit before each evening meal. This ritual of chalice lighting is uplifting, connecting me to other Unitarian Universalists and bringing the sacred to our meal times. It is even more uplifting lighting this particular chalice.
When I see this chalice I think of Kerry and Dave and the friendship and guidance they have given me this past 5 years. I also know my best friend owns a similar chalice made by Kerry and I delight in knowing 1000 miles away her family is lighting their chalice as they gather for super. It lifts my heart. It also lifts my voice. We read our chalice lighting from the hymnal, we say a prayer, or sometimes we sing a song. The flame lifts up as a sign of hope and love. In these brief moments of reverence and ritual, we lift up our UU values and the value of family.
The song in my heart sings to me about love, music, poetry, forgiveness, the mystical, the transcendent. This guitar represents a deep longing I have had for some time. When I took a leap and moved to Gainesville, this guitar was the first thing I purchased. I found it in a thrift store for $15. It has only been in the last week I started trying to learn to play. I struggle to get my hands to curve correctly around the neck, but I am sticking with it. In my heart, I hear myself finally writing music to the countless bodies of poetry and song lyrics I have been writing for years.
The metal star resting at the base says something different. This star was a gift from a sweet friend. This friend has taught me a lot about what it means to extend trust, honor connection, and build a different kind of family. I hear a new story forming in my personal narrative about what these things mean. The shape of this star reminds me of multiple merkabahs merging together – worlds beyond worlds. I hear voices beyond the veil, I bring them forth, I honor the gifts I’ve been given.