What a beautiful morning!
At our summer church in Kennebunkport a small group meets once a week in the rectory for Centering Prayer, a meditative practice founded in Massachusetts by three Trappist monks in the 1970s. We meditate for twenty minutes by focusing on a sacred word of our own choosing, then watch a short teaching by Thomas Keating on DVD.
The first time I went last summer I was very intimidated by the prospect of a twenty minute meditation! Sitting in a quiet room alone listening to the “noise” in my head is old hat to me and I often mistake it for being productive. Making mental to-do lists, planning, lamenting the past, worrying about the future can happen in the most bucolic of settings. Sitting with a quiet mind? It’s a challenge, but meditation gives me moments of inner silence, the benefits of which are deep and lasting.
I have a genetic predisposition to being at higher risk for skin cancer, so I see a dermatologist for an annual skin exam. I had a mole on my arm that looked different from all of the others and my dermatologist had said we should keep an eye on it. About two weeks ago I noticed that it was changing: it was darker and starting to have uneven borders. What really frightened me was when I happened to notice in a photo of me from 2013 that it wasn’t even on my arm! It’s not normal to grow new moles when you’re over forty. I called her office to be seen and she agreed that it should be biopsied.
I’ve been busy baking scones and getting ready for early tomorrow morning when some lady friends will be joining me to watch the wedding. I’m so touched that Price Charles will be walking Meghan down the aisle! Also I’m feeling proud to be an Episcopalian knowing our first African American Bishop will be speaking! This is all so romantic and wonderful, plus it’s making me even more excited about my own wedding! Here’s how I’m setting up for tomorrow:
Laurel Hill Cemetery is a stunning beautiful and serene place. Last year at this time when we last walked there it had just stopped raining, so the colors and mood were quite different. Yesterday it was a bright, sunny afternoon with signs of spring everywhere!
Yesterday Wayne and I took a drive to visit the Monastery in Kennebunk, St. Ann’s (summer) Episcopal church and made a brief stop at Antiques USA in Arundel on the way home. It felt like the official marker of “We made it through winter!” THIS is why we live in Maine:
Wayne and I are missing church this morning due to a “winter weather advisory” which includes icy rain and slick roads. Then we’re getting some snow! I’ll miss going this morning because weather and wellness permitting, during the fall, winter and spring, Wayne and I go to our Episcopal church in Cape Elizabeth* every Sunday. We prefer the early morning quiet and “contemplative” service which means there are no hymns, choir nor an organ being played. Unlike the later service there is a relatively small attendance of regulars. Here are some things I really love about our ritual:
After church this morning we had a delicious new-to-us sandwich for lunch. I’m calling it a New York deli style Easter meal. I think you’ll want to give this a try!
This recipe for Strawberry Puff Pudding is from my March 25th, 1937 copy of “What the Well Dressed Table Will Wear for Easter” published by A&P. It’s an airy, fruity gooey delight.
“It’s not whether we win or lose; it’s who we help along the way.”
Retired Maine football coach John Wolfgram has won ten state championships and more than 300 games during four decades as a head coach at four schools. John is also a champion at ushering at the 8:00 a.m. service at our church, St. Albans in Cape Elizabeth. When he asked if Wayne and I could fill in for one of his slots, I told him we’d trade in exchange for a blog interview! He cheerfully and graciously agreed. I’m so happy and honored that he volunteered to share his inspiring approach to “winning” with you here on Serene New England.