Greetings to you all ~ as we approach our Sunday day of Silence for May, the 27th, it seems that the theme of "honoring the wisdom of our elders" has emerged for us. Barbara is currently caring for her mother. I have come off of a recent Vision Quest experience with my father, and my mother had a dream that she wanted me to share with this circle. So, here are their words for you to contemplate. May you have a wonderous day, whatever it brings for you ~~
Peri & Barbara
Fasting Retreat - Arthur Chickering
At 7:30 Friday evening, May 4th, I walked half a mile through our woods and crawled into a dome tent at the end of a meadow, pitched that afternoon with daughters Peri and Nancy. I was beginning a “fasting retreat” that would run until Sunday morning. Even at age 85 I had never done anything like it before. As I stretched out on a sleeping bag and air mattress I realized that I had nothing on my schedule for the next thirty six to forty hours, nor was there any professional or personal work waiting to be done. Another first. I was totally free to use those hours however I wanted – sleeping or waking, walking or sitting, thinking or clearing my mind. I dropped off to sleep serenaded by oboe and English horn solos from the wood and hermit thrushes, backed peepers in the wetland at the end of the meadow.
I woke at dawn, crawled out, and sat in Jo’s comfortable quad chair. Lifting my face to the rising sun I turned to the question that brought me here. “What do I want to do with the rest of my life.” For an hour or so I wandered through a maze of random thoughts, monkey mind swinging from branch to branch, tree to tree. Maybe that was the wrong question. Anchored in a lifetime or doing, doing, doing, for family, work, and community, it came from the past, not the present. “What’s the most important thing for me, right now?” I asked. Being with Jo, my wife of sixty years, savoring our relationship, our children and grandchildren, relishing our woods, fields and wildlife. The real question now is “How do I want to BE?” The unease that lead me to this retreat would not be put to rest by finding things to DO – more writing, volunteer work, getting my lip in shape for my trombone.
That reframing filled me with peace and joy. The sun warmed my face while I let flies creep freely. Bird songs filled my ears, a red squirrel rustled in the brush, a deer coughed and stamped at the end of the meadow. Life was good, and would be for however many years remained, whatever hardships might come.
A request for the Circle of Silence women that came to my mother in a dream. She was instructed in the dream to share it with this group as well as others ~
Celebrating the Summer Solstice - June 20, 2012
At the summer solstice, as it makes its way around this globe, let us take sixty seconds to appreciate all the earth has given us, to thank this weary planet for its steadfast nurturance,