Savoring Wisdom

The season has changed from Summer to Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.  The days are shorter and the weather is still warm.  Here in the San Francisco Bay Area the sky is clear and blue.  The hills are golden.    Trader Joe’s has begun stocking the shelves with pumpkin biscotti and pumpkin pancake mix.  Fresh apples and pears are in abundance. This is my favorite time of year.

I have been reading Rachel Naomi Remen’s fine book My Grandfather’s Blessings to some of the residents at the elder community where I work.  Many of these residents are grandparents and great-grandparents and are in the winter of their years.  They listen with great attention as we together savor the wisdom in each chapter.   The residents are blessings to me.

Savoring the season with its colors, its flavors, and its textures is an Autumn activity.  Savoring wisdom and blessings may be as well.   It takes time to pause, to pay attention, and to listen.  During these early Autumn days, I wish you time.

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What’s New?

I asked the question of “what’s new?” to the elders with whom I work.  The response was silence.  I pursued the question again, “what’s new?”.  There was more silence.  They are generally receptive to my attempts at generating discussions.  So I waited some more.  After a pause, I said giving them them the day’s calendar date and year.  Has there ever been this day before?  They began to catch on and little by little we came up with a number of new things that were relevant to that day.  

Frequently, I too forget to look for what’s new in my life and in the world around me. I wonder if you do the same.  So often I join with the writer of Ecclesiastes and declaring that their is “nothing new under the sun.”  (Ecclesiastes 1:9b)  Busy with my daily routine, I forget to look for, or be open to newness including blessings that I take for granted, such as a new day.

For the next few weeks I will be keeping a “what’s new?” journal to assist myself in being aware of things that are new.  I invite you to join me in prayer, keeping a journal, and observing what is new in your life.  What is emerging in your life?  What do you see in nature during this late summer time?  What is new?

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