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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Magical Maine

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused." 
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Chris and I spent an unforgettable time in Maine this past weekend. In the above pic you'll find me gathering rocks that 'called' to me. Chris and I have been collecting rocks for years and years, often bringing one or two home from walks we take. This time we were on the beach of one of the numerous, beautiful bays along coastal Maine. We were driving home along Route 1 after having attended The Downeast Spiritual Life Conference.

We met so many warm, friendly, and interesting people at the conference and felt incredibly welcome and at home. The lectures we attended were riveting. Chris and I were particularly inspired by three, separate talks by Rumi scholar, Andrew Harvey. This incredible man is bold, brave, and walks his talk. His message centers on 'Sacred Activism' and one can't help but leave with the desire to truly do one's part to make the world a better place. I left with a CD of Andrew's favorite meditations from a variety of spiritual paths, "Body and Soul Meditations for Sacred Activists," which I know I'll utilize time and again.

I also couldn't help but be amazed by Phyllis Tickle's presentation. The breadth of her knowledge on religion, particularly that of Christianity, is astounding. I didn't always agree with her opinions, but I most definitely did appreciate all that she had to share.

I loved hearing Father Richard Rohr speak. Having just met him that weekend, I have already developed a great respect for this gentle, kind, and loving Franciscan priest. I look forward to reading his books in the future.

Chris and I had the good fortune to attend two wonderful evening concerts while at the conference. Both were a delight! The first concert featured Noel "Paul" Stookey (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) and his wife, Rev. Betty Stookey. The program was One Light, Many Candles , with readings and music that honor and celebrate 'multifaiths.' A real blessing of a performance!

The other concert featured Paul Winter, Paul Sullivan, and Noel Paul Stookey. WOW! To have these three, amazingly talented performers together on the stage made for a night we shall never forget.

On Sunday Chris played piano for a service at St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church. I was so proud of him. The sermon was given by Rev. Betty Stookey to a packed-to-overflowing church. Memorable on all counts.

Chris and I treasure ALL the time we spend together but we rarely get away for a legitimate 'vacation.' We will never forget all the people who made this weekend so very special. Thank you!!!

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