Summer Journey Map

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors.”

Terry Pratchett

 

I am signing off the blog for the summer to study, to write, to rest, to recalibrate, to find new inspiration, to go on family adventures and fill my cup with joy. This has been quite a year and now it’s time to refill my tank. There is a reason “Keeping the Sabbath” is a commandment. Sometimes we have to step away, to find our way! Below is a map of my summer journey. Barbara Brown Taylor once said, “Earth is so thick with divine possibility that it is a wonder we can walk anywhere without cracking our shins on altars.” Following a year of much fear, loss and darkness, it is high time we recovered our sense of awe and wonder for the goodness of creation and our place in it. My plan is to return to you with a renewed sense of purpose, reconnected to myself and God, and full of new dreams. I hope this prayer from The Pocket Cathedral will encourage you to carve out your own time for sabbath over the summer.

 

Lord of the Sabbath,

You were the first to proclaim a day of rest and mark it as holy—

Relief from a world that rewards labor, busyness, but rarely holiness.

Teach me to step away from the fragmented,

frenzied,

and much too loud earthly existence

for a holy repose.

Sabbath is Your invitation to let go of the “work” of being human:

the stress, the fears, the doubts,

the expectations, the responsibilities, the relentless race—

And honor the needs of my soul.

It is in these moments of stillness and rest that You impart

clarity,

reconcile and renew,

heal and illumine,

And remind me how sacred my life truly is….

 

Have a blessed summer!

Summer Journey

Graduation

If you had told me eighteen years ago, camped on the pediatric oncology floor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in NYC, that I would be blessed with eighteen years with my first-born son Charlie and see him graduate from high school, I’m not sure I could have imagined it, or even allowed myself to hope for it. There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to Dr. Kushner (“Special K”), Connie, my family, friends, teachers and strangers. They made hope our reality. I also want to thank God for giving me the courage to choose life over fear, and raise Charlie to open his arms as wide as humanly possible to the world.  “Make your life count!” This has been our family motto and the words I will say again as Charlie fledges my nest and finds his way in the world.

Class Books

This summer I will be a full-time student at Vanderbilt Divinity School. I am two classes away from completing my Masters of Divinity with a specialty in Theology and the Arts. I am particularly excited to study the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Both artist theologians used their art as a vehicle to wrestle with and reveal the mystery of God. This week, we explicated Dickinson’s, Poem 466. I especially love her final stanza:

For Occupation—This—

The spreading wide my narrow Hands

To gather Paradise—

French Cafe

Fingers crossed! I am hoping to return to France to see friends and classmates I have not seen in over two years! More importantly, I am organizing a trip for 2022 to take a group to the healing site of Lourdes. Let me know if you are interested.

Bee Keeping

I am in my third year of beekeeping. Unfortunately, during the pandemic I lost all my hives. I tried everything, even resorting to an emergency order of two Queen bees from Hawaii. Not one to throw in the towel, I am starting over with four new hives. I am like a new mother checking on my babes multiple times a day, even playing music for them. This will not be a year for “milk and honey,” but of rebuilding—an apt metaphor for our own journey after the pandemic.

New Book

Fingers crossed I will finish my new book this summer. The idea for Soulful was to be a one-stop-shop for spiritual reflections, a resource for encouraging quotes from remarkable thinkers, poets and theologians, an activity guide for claiming more peace and joy in your life and a reservoir of delicious and easy recipes to serve at your gathering table. The design, photography and illustrations will knock your socks off!

Wyoming

“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.” These words were spoken by John Muir, the naturalist extraordinaire. This past year has forced us all to live on “high alert.” With intentionality, we need to carve out some “Sabbath” space to find again our peace and grounding. On a trip West to visit grandparents, I hope to incarnate Muir’s words.

Love, Farrell

5 Comments
  • Eugene M Regen,Jr

    June 7, 2021 at 6:43 am Reply

    My dear Farrell, your words this morning speak a prescience that I am understanding and will only understand in hindsight. Your special ability to ‘share your heart’ is a unique gift that you bring so generously, and I/we shall wait expectantly until the fall and ‘Soulful.’

  • janemccracken

    June 7, 2021 at 7:26 am Reply

    So loved seeing your face and your generous attention after church yesterday! We share so many of the same interests that it truly warms my heart that I can look forward to sharing some of them with you one day when life slows down a bit. The announcement of your new book has my giggling with excitement. I will be front row and center when it becomes available. Wishing and praying for your summer to be one of discovery, relaxation and restoration! COME BACK WITH THINGS TO SHARE WITH US! Safe travels!

  • Sallye Galloway

    June 7, 2021 at 8:30 am Reply

    If only I had known about your bee keeping! We recently had to have a bee keeper come and get hundreds of honey bees out of our porch ceiling. In 4 hours he took away 2 five gallons of the comb, a zillion dead bees, hundreds of live bees, the queen, and he dropped honey all over as he left. He had to cut a hole in the ceiling. He said it was his largest hive.
    Have the summer you intend and please let’s keep HOPE going. Much love to you.

  • Susan Foster

    June 7, 2021 at 8:48 am Reply

    Goose bumps , literally, reading of Charlie’s journey& remembering following your days then- wow! We all celebrate his wonderful healthy and joyful launching into his grown up world!! And the John Muir trail for you sounds truly divine! See you in the fall & can’t wait to hear about both you masons – young and a bit older too!!safe travels. Susan

  • Tesair Lauve

    June 7, 2021 at 9:51 am Reply

    Farrell, we truly hope that Charlie will come visit/stay with us in Cambridge often for a weekend or so when he’s at Dartmouth, and we’d of course love to see you and David as you pass through Boston. The last time you were in our then completely unrenovated house, we had just moved in and there were boxes everywhere! Now we could all have dinner together in our back yard “secret garden”! Love,
    Tesair

Post a Comment