Centering Prayer by the Sea

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.

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Spring in the Kennebunks

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:

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RIP Mrs. Barbara Bush, Lover of Literacy

I am so saddened to learn about the passing of Barbara Bush. She has been a personal inspiration to me for two very specific reasons that I’d like to share here that were encapsulated in this one excerpt:

In 1980, George ran for president. There were endless receptions, luncheons, dinners and fundraisers. For the campaign, Barbara had to choose an official cause. She picked literacy, which became a lifelong passion. “I realized everything I worried about” – teen pregnancy, hunger, homelessness, drug use, crime – “would be better if more people could read, write and comprehend,” she later recalled. She was also pressured to change her image, with some family members urging her to “color my hair, change my style of dressing and, I suspect, get me to lose some weight,” she later recalled, driving her to tears. Jane Pauley of NBC opened a television interview by asking her: “People say your husband is a man of the ’80s and you are a woman of the ’40s. What do you say to that?” Barbara, though stung, declined to alter her matronly image, which instead helped her become one of her husband’s most powerful political assets. A critic, Andrew Sullivan of The New Republic magazine, called her “America’s queen mother” whose “mastery of frumpy do-goodery is, of course, modeled on the Windsors.”

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As Summer Fades

As I reflect on the beginning of this summer, I couldn’t have guessed what was ahead: Wayne proposing to me on the beach as piping plovers sang, a beautiful tomato bounty in our garden despite a cold rainy spring that nearly killed them, making lasting connections with new friends, and my personal breakthrough during my summer Episcopal chapel tour. It’s hard to let go of summer but I’m open to what’s ahead: the mysterious and unknown with the promise of brilliant foliage followed by a deep blanket of snow. (Can you see the boat in the foggy distance?)

Dinner Party at The Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport

Yesterday evening Wayne and I enjoyed a beautiful dinner at The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport to enjoy fellowship with members of St. Ann’s Episcopal church. All proceeds benefit St. Ann’s community outreach. The time flew by and almost three hours had passed when they began to close our room down!

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Seaside Soirée at the Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport

Last night Wayne and I were treated to a delicious and decadent dinner at The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport. It was a special private party for Yelp Elites (of which I am one) and our guests. So really, I took Wayne out on a date! Continue reading “Seaside Soirée at the Nonantum Resort, Kennebunkport”

Our First Cherry Tomato Harvest

We finally had our first cherry tomato harvest! They are as sweet as they are pretty!

My next Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour post will be after we visit St. Martin’s in the Field in Biddeford Pool next Sunday. This morning we went to the outdoor seaside services at St. Ann’s. It was a very blustery morning and in the low 60s. A very lovely lady, Sylvia, came to the rescue. She invited us to sit next to her and she shared her blanket under which we huddled. Sometimes a warm gesture can do more than any physical barrier against the cold.

Coming up next is a post about our visit to an enchanting English garden.

 

Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Peter’s By The Sea, Cape Neddick

We got an early start this morning so that we could double dip by attending two services, one at St. Ann’s and the other at St. Peter’s By The Sea. Today is also my twenty-third sobriety anniversary! Our original plan was to attend services at a local-to-us summer chapel after a celebratory breakfast at the Black Point Inn. We had to change our plans but today turned out to be another magical Sunday summer morning in Maine thanks to the welcoming Episcopalian spirit! Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Peter’s By The Sea, Cape Neddick”