Saturday, October 24, 2009

Times of the year

With my granddaughter Sophie, in front of the tree where Russ and I were married at Peach Lake.

Now, far into October, but reflecting back to the amazing summer places we visited. These included the spot we were married, at Peach Lake, New York, a cabin now owned by my cousin, so we can still visit from time to time. Russ and I repeated our wedding vows there again one moonlit night in front to the same tree where we were married. This is indeed one of my sacred places, always....moonlit dips were also a true gift. How far away that seems, but it warms me even now in October.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hot times, summer in BC

What an amazing week of high temperatures and sweltering people finding lakes and late night relief on the deck by dark. Last night, after a BBQ at a friend's, I drove home in the cool of the night, windows wide open, old Beatles' tunes playing, and the halfmoon shimmering, and it felt like I was a teenager again, leaving the local ice cream parlour after checking out the convertibles with cute guys in them driving up.
This type of weather is unusual here,and I love things that break our expected behaviour and routines....that bring us together in the common this case, seeking coolness in a nearby lake and later under the stars.
This too is a sacred time and space.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer is here!

The weather in this incredible part of the world has been stunning, clear and sunny with cool nights....a clarity of light we rarely see quite this etched, and at times like these, BC is hard to beat anywhere!

It's been a busy time for book events and for family visits. And now, I've been asked to consider presenting a session next year, looking at the themes in my book (Havens in a Hectic World: Finding Sacred Places) from the "health and wellness" perspective. This sounds intriguing, especially since CBC radio host Jo-Ann Roberts and I have already produced our Radio One special "Healing the Heart" looking at the places we go to and the music we listen to when we need to heal.

Speaking of Jo-Ann, she and I camped recently at one of MY sacred places, Sombrio Beach, and we were joined on the beach by Mama Bear and her twins,...made life just that much more tangy and exciting!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A sunny Sunday, and next: Metchosin!

Well, the Whistler reading drew about a dozen diehards on a gorgeous Friday evening in May, in the spacious new Whistler Library, but to my surprise the Spirit of Place event last Sunday at the Interfaith Chapel at UVic, sponsored by the Victoria Multifaith Society, drew 45 people on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I was amazed and pleased!
At one point we went around to let people identify their own sacred places, if they chose, and these included a frog pond on the way home from school (childhood memory), the Ganges River, and the memorial garden area in Finnerty Gardens, just outside the chapel, where a beloved family member is interred. It was quite moving to hear the personal choices.

Henri Lock, a chaplain at the Chapel, graciously introduced me, and talked about the chapel and grounds as his sacred places, which helped him get through cancer treatment many years ago, and where he was introduced to meditation, which he continues with a group there to this day. I was really thrilled to be the guest of the Multifaith Society in that Interfaith reflects where I believe and hope we're moving as a society, and was a wonderful, warm group event.

Next Wednesday night, June 24, at 7 p.m., I'll be speaking in the Metchosin Community House, at 4430 Happy Valley Road, and my topic is ""Spirit of Place: How the spiritual geography of the BC Coast may help us save the planet!"...first reading in my own backyard, and I'm really looking forward to it. See you there!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Next up: Whistler

Hi all,
Well, next week we'll be in Whistler, and I've just been interviewed by both the media there, the Pique Magazine and the Whistler Question, and thoroughy enjoyed both the questions, especially when they're fresh and different. One reporter asked if people get put off by the word "sacred" in the title of my book (Havens in a Hectic World: Finding Sacred Places) and I'm sure some do....but what I love is how many people, more and more I think, see the word "sacred" as far-reaching, inclusive and not scary, as in the "sacred Earth" and "sacred sites" for the First Nations. I think the word has morphed into something still powerful, but much less "religious" in the last 20 years.
I'll be giving a Book Talk at the Whistler Library at 7 p.m. next Friday night, May 22, and hope that people will talk about their own sacred places...I love hearing every story. Tell me about yours!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thoughts after last weekend at Queenswood....

Hi there,

Last weekend I led a retreat at Queenswood Retreat Centre here in Victoria, with topics based on themes from my book Havens in a Hectic World: Finding Sacred Places. We were so incredibly lucky with the weather patterns...lovely balmy night Friday for our rooftop stargazing session, stormy Saturday night, as we talked by candlelight and listened to the wind, and gorgeous sun on Sunday morning as we wandered the fragrant, flowered grounds.

We got into some pretty esoteric discussions, which I so appreciated...topics like the way Matthew Fox's creation spirituality is playing out in our postmodern, post-denominational world; and discussions around the duality of life (with its home and away urges, its balance between the "tent and the Temple" and between tradition and exploration) and a new environmentally-aware paradigm for our spiritual life on the West Coast. Whew!

And we laughed hard too...enough to be noticed in the dining room (man, is that food good!) What a great sacred place and what a great group of people.
So, I'm reflecting on all that this week, and it makes me optimistic that the movement towards something new, inclusive, and positive, as we meander along in our search for the big answers here in Cascadia, is hopeful, and possible. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Two months into 2009....

Hi All,

I know, I know, this update is a bit overdue. But lots has been simmering and even bubbling up in my life cauldron. While followup events related to Havens in a Hectic World continue, I'm now getting more and more involved in researching a new topic for future writing: my mother's letters from postwar Berlin, 1946-47, and I'm learning about the situation there then for the Occupying forces, the dependents and their families, and the German people.

On that note, we're just back from a trip to Pennsylvania (for a family birthday), and a side trip to the Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pa, which has an archives that includes diaries,letters and writings of various military people involved in postwar Berlin, including a transcription of the oral history report given by General Lucius Clay, head of the US forces in Berlin. His wife Marjorie was quite a woman and helped organize American women to assist Germans in need and especially their children. Mom wrote about this and about seeing Marjorie Clay at the beauty parlour! (I love these personal details), and I find her observations fascinating, along with being at the centre of our Weiss family history.

I've also made contact with a group called Berlin Brats, alumni of the American high school in Berlin from 1946 on, and that's been exciting too! Now, next stop: Berlin, as I hope to plan a trip there before the year is out!

Feel free to send me any thoughts, contacts, or advice on any of this, btw!
More before too long....