Friday, November 20, 2015

New Horizons

Looking out my window this morning I see shades of orange and yellow slowly turn to blue. The sun has not yet fully made itself seen! It is times like these when I think about the variety of ways that we see beauty. At GPA, where I work; Julie, Pam and Dave have traveled to China and  we have heard about the culture of work and family. Julie told us how the one child law has made each child so precious - and that for each child there are four adults who give love and guidance in the hope that the child will achieve greatness.

I think we all want our children to succeed, regardless of where we work. We want children to be the best they can become. We all want to provide them with every opportunity. It may not seem so apparent as we watch the news and social media. There are disruptions, terrorist attacks and so many examples of violence. And, there are the small trauma's in the lives of children every day. In our own world we often hear of similar events that rock the spaces of families every day; hunger, sickness, violence to name just a few.

So today, I ask you to think about what beauty you see in the students you serve, wherever you are. What can we (you) do to support each other when times seem tough? How can we support each other in communicating with the parents and guardians who care so deeply for their children? How do we give thanks for the gifts of learning and creating spaces that are safe for children to grow into healthy successful adults?

For me, I am grateful to work with each of you in my variety of roles; parent, student, teacher, mentor, and administrator. I see the care and concern, the dedication and commitment to stretch each child to their potential. I believe that each of you is part of the greater plan to make the world a better place - one child at a time.

I wish you all a great weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope you feast at a table with friends and family. Please take the time to look out on the horizon for hope, a way of life where we all do our best to give our children and the children of the families we serve opportunities to learn and grow.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Words Matter


I have been dissolved
I have been shaken

On this page
The weight of a word
Silence, work, love, nature.

This is my time,
The only time there is.

Return again and again
Each moment
Born of love
Living in love

It matters
Love matters
Marriage matters
To me, to you


Words matter
I matter
Your words can make me dissolve
Please be gentle
Words matter

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Together We Can Do Great Things!

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” ~ Mother Teresa

In his book, The Alphabet of Grace, Fredrick Buechner speaks of the mystical presence that defines religion, which really cannot be named. Reading from his work caused me to stop and think about how The School at Kirkridge is ultimately about the beauty and grace that lives inside each of us, especially the children! With this belief we have gathered the support to start a school.

The School at Kirkridge! It is the School of Kirkridge, too. Even though it feels new, it is not. The energy and excitement about what is possible fills the air in the Farmhouse and through the fields as we prepare to open in September. As the children run and play the spirit of the past is palpable, an amazing grace. The wind makes its ways through the trees and eyes are wide open as the children explore the life cycle, finding tadpoles and other creatures in the abundance of the land. We are building on a strong and beautiful past. The spirit is with us at The School at Kirkridge; we are following in the footsteps of the dreams of John Oliver Nelson and those who joined him in his vision of Kirkridge.

The foundation is strong – and as a program of Kirkridge we are building on the shoulders of those who have come before us and those who lead now. We are learning from a procession of smart and imaginative people who believe that there is a kinder and gentler way to live in this world.  We have that dream for the children, too. The archives of Kirkridge describe a vision of “an educating-participating community”. The founders of Kirkridge dreamed like we dream, that the people of Kirkridge could create a movement and vision for a brighter future. Educating young people who can go into the world, both kind and capable, making a difference. We are hopeful that the barrage of testing does not stamp out the light of creativity, that children can learn as they play. We are hopeful, like the great minds that have walked the hills and valleys of this mountain that we can help the children to go out into the world whole. We are hopeful that we can model and inspire young people to believe they can create change, beginning in their school and moving out into their communities. 
Jean Vanier, humanist, philosopher, theologian, and author, says, “In children and young people a light is present. We must listen to children. We must hear what they have to say. They are people in whom that light of God exists. They will never be able to trust themselves unless someone trusts them.”  We are blessed by the support from the community of Kirkridge. We are thankful to be a part of a history that values the deep and abiding knowledge that children each have a birth right gift – one that when nurtured expands the possibility of carrying the mission of Kirkridge into the world as people of hope, compassion, justice and service.

Join us on this great journey by reading our webpage, following us on Facebook or attending one of our events.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Small Gifts

William Carlos Williams was a poet and a doctor. He was known for noticing small holiness in the ordinary. I wandered through this idea after reading the poem “Approach to a City”. So much of life is found in the small and ordinary. Wanting to notice. Wanting to remember. Wanting to remember to notice.

It all comes down to the little things – they get stuck in our consciousness like the poppy seed in my teeth after eating a thick, chewy bagel. Toasted, butter melting, I don't think about the abundance of small seeds until later, long after I have wiped the butter from my fingers and lips. I notice the seed, left behind from my moment of morning bliss.

And the moments seem to tumble into my mind, the small things we remember; the laughter about tidy-whitey underwear – that turns into the best Christmas present. We sit here at this corner or our table. It becomes obscure in the light of day when it is filled with laughter and conversation. But in this moment, the corner is our altar, offering a glimpse of our deepest dreams or gigantic fears – it is a small holiness that calls us, me, to a large compassion, wondering about traveling gently into the world.
And this small holiness leads me to seek a voice that speaks kinder words, walk more gently on the planet, considers how my being impacts the universe – each breathe, each word, each movement or action. Considering how my life, my consumption, my holding and letting go are all a small, minute, insignificant, yet holy prayer, which swirls together whirling and whizzing - into the sky and the earth, into the ears of my family and friends. I go bumping and twisting into the otherwise small and seemingly insignificant - words, actions, consumption and movement.

Small holiness – I see, I feel, I hold - the other, the least of me and my sisters and brothers, walking this vast universe together. Alone, not really, in this place we call home. The chimes singing their song this morning as the wind blows through the cold. I hear the song, see the light, and it is holy.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Reclaim Your Vision!

In a post I wrote last may - Hold Gently I described how practicing Circle of Trust@work has made such a difference in my ability to be resilient. I said, "In Circles of Trust we learn to hold the spirit of others gently, like we are holding a small bird, careful not to hold to tightly, or to push the bird before it is ready to fly. The dream of a new kind of school is something I hold each day and long for it to come to fruition. And while I work hard to make things happen, I know that I must “proceed as way opens” (the words of a Quaker phrase, quoted by many). 
Those words speak to the resilience I have found to persist when things don't work out right away. I have not been able to get a new type of school off the ground, yet, and I work so that the way may open. Like the bird in my essay, we sometimes find ourselves stuck in situations and places that test our souls. I have found healthy exploration of these challenges in Circles of Trust.

Sometimes we need a takes a moment to catch our breath and start over again. Sometimes we need help! I hope Morgan and I can help you reclaim your vision!

See the information below for more details, click here to register, or call/email Morgan or Pat!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

When will the water flow?


Stopped in time,
The water is held until the sun and the air 
elevate, rise, move.
All connected, one movement of the tiniest creature
and a cascade of action erupts.
We impact each other and the earth.

How can we not see 
the smile, a footprint,
a glowing cigarette butt flung into the wind
creating a tsunami of hope or grief?
We crack the earth, 
greed and survival flung against
want and despair.

We touch each other 
whether we want to
believe it or not.
We stretch further than our eye,
our touch,
our words, blasting beyond our being.
Our footprint
the beginning of the swell of the rising

When will the water flow again?
Bless the earth!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cold, Icy Branches

You never know what you will find.
Faced with the cold brittle ice of winter,
Deep in the woods.
The grace of god in the branches.
Not knowing -
What will come next?