Monday, October 25, 2010

Leaving the House on the Cove

We are preparing to leave the House on the Cove. A final cleaning, packing, mail forwarding, coordinating with the person who will be here while we are gone ... it is a busy time. The cat has had her teeth cleaned by the veterinarian here and is a bit curious about the reappearance of the boxes.

I have said Shalom! to my church friends here. Worship yesterday was an all-Island gathering at St. Mary's By-The-Sea. It is a beautiful stone chapel, with lovely stained glass windows, a high, arched ceiling ... very picturesque. For the message, someone read Bishop Steve's address. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on how to be Episcopalean in this place in the future. The reception was at St. Mary's winter chapel/reception hall in Northeast Harbor. They have their heated sanctuary on the first floor and their fellowship hall on the elevator-and-stairway accessible second floor. It is a room with much light and liveliness, and the people who prepared the food and did the welcome were warm and friendly. I loved that they had candy corns as a part of the food - I have wanted a piece of candy corn since I saw them in the stores earlier this fall, but did not want to purchase an entire bag (as I would then eat them all!)

Papa Bear and I took one last drive around Ocean Drive on Friday last. Pictures from it follow these words. We should be at the House on the Creek (where the caretakers there are busy moving out) by the end of the week. It has been a magnficient summer! I am looking forward to being able to return next year!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Columbus Day Weekend: Before, During and After

We spent the week leading to the Columbus Day weekend cleaning house and shopping and working in the yard. It is a quiet time of year here on the Island and it is really gorgeous this fall.

Baby Bear and Boo Boo came for a long visit, arriving late on Thursday. Friday we hiked the Upper Hadlock Pond Trail, followed by dinner at XYZ Restaurant. The food was flavorful and the fresh limeade was refreshing - tangy yet sweet: just right! Saturday we stayed closer to home. I did a long run. I think I need to eat on these runs as I can do six miles (with water) but more than six is a struggle, so I will have to contemplate how to accomplish some mid-run sustenance. We had dinner at home. Sunday we hiked the Lower Hadlock Pond Trail, which was absolutely lovely. Baby Bear made a wonderful dinner (pork chops, drunken beans, corn). We finally made it to Grumpy's for a late breakfast on Monday, and then Baby Bear and Boo Boo headed home.

This past week we have had rain and wind and frost and the leaves are nearing peak. It is suppose to be in the upper 30's at night this week. We are continuing to try to get everything in place to journey back to the House on the Creek. That departure is coming all-too-quickly, it seems. On Wednesday, we took a break from our work to hike Conner's Nubble, which is on Eagle Lake and near Cadillac Mountain. We saw hillsides turning crimson and gold, blue skies, and sunshine. The day was cool, the people we met smiling. It was a fun experience!! We also took care this week to visit Top of the Hill Restaurant as their last day of operation for this year was Saturday (yesterday).

Last night's sunset (no picture, sorry: we were cooking dinner!) included a sky that was mostly cloud-covered, but there was an area between the horizon and the cloud cover that was only partly cloudy. The in-between clouds were a brilliant pink against a deepening blue sky, and the water on the cove reflected the pink clouds, which made the water a choppy purple. It was really lovely to see.

I have been participating in a Bible study on Thursdays. We meet, and do readings from the Hebrew scriptures, the letters of the apostles, and the Gospels. We read a lesson aloud, then reflect on it silently, and then share a word or phrase of feeling that struck us. We then read it again and after reflection, share what it means to us in the context of community. We move on to the next lesson. At the end, we try to share what we have heard as a whole. Last week, the overall sense was one of hope (these are the lectionary readings for October 24) and one person recalled the Emily Dickinson poem:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I love the fact that hope is linked to the soul: both are eternal.

We have tons of pictures! A few are included here. Opening picture of this post is from the Lower Hadlock Pond Trail. Enjoy!

Upper Hadlock Pond Trail

Lower Hadlock Pond Trail


Conner's Nubble


Worship, 17 October 2010

Worship on 17 October 2010 at St. John's the Divine in Southwest Harbor, Maine, was led by the Rev. Anne Mallonee. She talked of the importance of the persistence in prayer, even when things do not change. Prayer, after all, is a conversation with God, and it changes the person making the prayer, who then has the blessing of this change. Prayer allows us to be open to the power of God, to be aware of God's love. It is a way of connecting with positive energy.

She talked of studying the parables by trying to become one of the people in the parable, and looking at what is happening from their point of view. The lesson today was from Luke 18: 1- 8, about the woman who continually pestered the unjust judge until the judge gave her justice. She talked about looking at the parable from the point of view of the woman (a person seeking justice) but then changing to the point of view of the judge. This change in point of view caused her to ask who, then, was the woman? And she felt that perhaps the woman was God: each and every day asking us to be just. God is the most persistent, god is love, and invites us every day to do justice. God asks us to be in relationship, and to be a part of the solution. We simply need to respond when God asks. How we respond will be different for each: for some, we will care for our family; for others, we will make changes in the world at large: each can contribute. We need to know, and understand, what it means to be Jesus in this world, and, with faithfulness and persistence, we can then use our words, our lives, to model this to the world.

As always, the sermon was much more eloquent and cohesive and meaningful than I have presented. These words are what I heard and remembered. The words about this lesson are my interpretation of what was said. The actual words said and ideas presented belong to Rev. Mallonee and were delivered in a manner that was more interesting and likely clearer than what I have shared here.

Worship, 3 October 2010

Worship on 3 October 2010 at St. John's the Divine in Southwest Harbor was led by Debbie Little-Wyman. She talked that someone told her that the best advice for life is to go where it is warm. And, as the days get colder here, I can understand how people might believe that statement. I have not, however, owned that statement for myself as yet. When she talked on the scriptures, she talked of God's mercies, and how they are new for each of us each and every morning. We are lovers and we are loved, and we are all in this together. It is not easy to live in community with others, but we need to open ourselves to this experience, to look for openings and make our lives spiritual adventures. It was a much better lesson than I render here, and left me filled for the week. The words about this lesson are my interpretation of what was said. The actual words said and ideas presented belong to Rev. Little-Wyman and were delivered in a manner that was more interesting and likely clearer than what I have shared here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall colors unfold slowly

Fall colors are unfolding slowly - we are told that we are at light to moderate leaf change. Splashes of color (yellow, oranges, vivid reds) appear amidst the green. Assuming that the winds of last night did not blow all the leaves away and that the anticipated heavy rain this evening does not strip the trees, we should be seeing good color as soon as we have a bit of cold. We have been sleeping with the windows open. The rain is suppose to bring warmer air with it.

Papa Bear has been experimenting with what is called a raw photograph. It is software he has added to his camera from the public domain that allows him to capture and save pictures that have many more pixels, which allows him to produce pictures with range of light details similar to his High Dynamic Range pictures, but the objects in the pictures (water, leaves, clouds) can be moving as only a single image is needed. The sunset picture of this blog is such a picture.

We have been working in the yard as weather permits. We took one day to travel to Ellsworth to look for a saw. We also shopped for groceries at the Hannaford grocery there, which is a super store compared to the Hannaford on the Island: a couple aisles of organic foods, many more no-hormone meats. As we finished putting the groceries we purchased in the car, the skies opened and we were instantly soaked!! We have not seen such a sudden, short and heavy storm here before.

I have been loving my running - hope to do about 6.5 miles on Saturday after the rain stops. Could I run in the rain? Yes, and if I have to, I will, but the rain is suppose to stop by mid-day. I have found that my longer runs require water so I am now carrying water.

I attended a Bible study at St. John's on Thursday afternoon. The group meets for a hour or so. We read the scriptures from the lectionary. The words are read aloud, we reflect, and then share what jumped out to us - a word, a phrase, something we heard. The words are read again, and this time after we reflect, we talk about how the words relate to community - our local community, or a wider community (for example, the world.) At the end, we get to ask questions and discuss possible answers. The process is interesting and makes us responsible for understanding what we are reading and hearing. Several different translations are used and hearing the text with different words causes us to think closely about what we hear.

And a wonderful woman has shared a book with me about worship in the Episcopal Church, so I am learning more about what is done and why it is done. I am so thankful for her gift of this book!

I have been on a baking streak and we have had apple crisp, pumpkin bread pudding, brownies and large oatmeal cookies. I have another brownie recipe I want to try, too.

We are talking about what we need to accomplish before we leave, and anticipating for a visit from Baby Bear and Boo Boo next weekend.

Sunday Worship, 26 September 2010

Forum on Sunday morning was about the upcoming "experiment" of shared pastoral duties among the Island's Episcopal churches and how it will impact St. John's. There will be parish priests in three of the Island's Episcopal churches and a fourth priest, in a part-time position funded by St. John's, who will be a part of the priestly community. The priests are meeting and sharing what is happening in their parishes. The part-time priest from St. John's will be a part of this community, and on some Sundays there will be joint services between parishes, held only at one location (so, for example, on October 24 at 10 a.m., there will be no service at St. John's but instead a joint service at St. Mary's in Northeast Harbor.) The priest from St. Saviour's in Bar Harbor will continue to have office hours at St. John's weekly. The priest funded by St. John's and the priest from Bar Harbor will take turns presiding at each place. These changes are hard for people - words I heard were: "Who do I tell people is my priest?" "Who do I call for counseling/care?" "Will this situation be evaluated and how?"

The Rev. Stephen Hayward presided over worship at St. John the Divine's in Southwest Harbor this Sunday. The scripture lessons were from Jeremiah and Luke (the story of Lazarus). They tell of how we define ourselves in terms of what we have instead of by what we give and what we produce. Jeremiah is a prophet who sees opportunities and possibilities for us to care for each other and for God's creation. Lazarus shows us a reformation of society - he who had nothing is given everything, the nameless one who had everything was given nothing. There is hope for the future, for changes and reformations to happen. We need only be open to it and to live in a contributing manner.

The words about this lesson are my interpretation of what was said. The actual words said and ideas presented belong to Rev. Hayward and were delivered in a manner that was more interesting and likely clearer than what I have shared here.

As changes and reformation are about in the Island's Episcopal churches, and as change is always difficult, it will take their faith and their contributions to make the moves forward.