Archive for September, 2016
It is the season for feasting. The harvest is in full swing as are preparations to celebrate the abundance. Sonoma County just hosted the Heirloom Tomato Festival, and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, good examples of public harvest celebrations.
Historically, feasting served many purposes: to display opulence, pay debts, frighten enemies, gain allies, negotiate war and peace, communicate with the gods, honor the dead and celebrate rites of passage.
A Sumerian myth dating from 3000-2350 BC relates the story of the god Enki offering butter cakes and beer to the goddess Inanna. The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament that was created by four immigrant men to commemorate the festivals and sacraments of their Portuguese heritage continues as the largest Portuguese Feast in the world. (portuguesefeast.com).
Our Thanksgiving tradition is a good contemporary example of public feasting and harvest celebration.
Rites of Passage feasting is engaged regularly by all peoples. Births, deaths, marriages, retirements, accomplishments, award ceremonies, are all feasting events, bringing together families and communities.
This week I invite you to bring greater awareness to how and why you participate in feasting; giving thanks for the richness and abundance we enjoy in these precious moments.
The spectacular Harvest Moon on Friday September 16 majestically heralds the coming of the Fall Equinox. Reaping the fruits of our labor begins in earnest. Storing and preparing for the coming winter can consume these precious moments. It is important to pause and relish the beauty of the season.
In the garden, leaves have been yellowing on my beans for two weeks now, surrendering to the change of seasons. Cold, crisp mornings melt into afternoon warmth.
As heaven and earth mark this autumnal shift, I invite you to mark it also. Celebrate the harvest and the beginning transition to the Solstice. Bask in the last rays of summer; reflect on the passing of time; honor your part in the wheel of life.
Paul Sutherland writes a column in Spirituality & Health (an awesome quarterly), called ‘The Heart of Money’. In the Sept/Oct (2016) issue he responds to a reader’s question about risk.
He distills risk to it’s essential quality, “I think the biggest risk one can take in life is declaring to ourselves that we will live a spiritual life.”
To live a spiritual life is to know who you are, to live in the true or authentic self. To live a life of intention; to know our strengths and weaknesses; to be responsible for our behaviors; to act without judgement; to trust the infinite intellect of perfect love that created us and the home we live on.
It is to know without question the depths of our soul, good, bad or indifferent; and be able to detach from our emotional investments.
The authentic spiritual life is one that finds acceptance, courage, inner peace and even happiness and humor in the most challenging of life’s circumstances. This is no Pollyanna position, it is the capacity to be with what is, to accept what can’t be changed, to change what is mutable…to feel the agony and the ecstasy of the moment and respond appropriately.
I invite you this week, as we near the Autumnal Equinox, to take a spiritual inventory, and, if necessary, course correct. Hence being prepared and centered to move into the fullness and beauty of the fall season.
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We are celebrating Labor Day this weekend. A National Holiday since 1894, Labor Day is dedicated to acknowledging the workers of America.
I found a quote by John D. Rockefeller that I like, and want to share it with you: “I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand. That the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.”
There is another labor that deserves to be celebrated: the labor of personal growth. The very demanding work of becoming an authentic self; of finding our true identity; and reaping the rewards of such labor. To undertake this journey is to engage yourself in serious work, important work, demanding work.
“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” ~Augustine
Today, as you honor, acknowledge and celebrate the American worker, take a few moments to honor, acknowledge and celebrate the labor of your personal growth.