Awakening a Keen Observer

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lucky Duck

I don't know if you'd heard the story, it's been on a lot of news report. Let me summarize... a hunter shot a duck. They put the duck in the refrigerator. Two days later his wife opened the refrigerator and the duck, now called Perky, raised its head and looked at her. It was a surprise.. They took it to a wildlife shelter and they decided to operate on the duck. They put it asleep to operate but it's heart stopped. The Vet thumped it's heart and it started again. Later in the surgery it stopped breathing again. They gave it oxygen and tried to recesitate but the Doctor turned and said, I'm sorry she's gone. Everyone was crying.
One of the people looked at the duck lying there and realized it's eyes were open and it began to flap it's wings. IT"S ALIVE IT'S alive! And it was...and it is.
The surgery over, they have decided not to do more because it doesn't do well.
The shelter is going to sell t-shirts to make a little money to care for the bird's..long term care.

It's alive! This story is everywhere on the internet and on the BBC news and all around the world. I wonder why.

Because if anything it is a story about hope. It is a story about being down and out and then UP again! It is a story that makes us wonder what in the world brings us such news when the 'other' news is much less hopeful.

That's one lucky duck.
and for some it may well think it is that there is indeed hope!

God Abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Four Great Blues

Grace and Peace
Because we've had some rain lately there are more puddles along the road and today on the way home I counted four Great Blue Herons. They are such stately birds. There was one along the way that was all hunkered over and then as I got closer it stretched out...jumped up as they do...and then took off flying at that point not high above the road.

Oh so beautiful. I am so thankful that my Dad taught me to look for birds and to be observant along the way. I do.
Look around you...what in your world do you see that gets your attention... enjoy the simple beauties ..
God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cedars and the House

There is a house I pass on the way to my churches that has been there for some time. And I believe it has been unoccupied. Nobody's home...nobody is home. It seems that htis must be so because almost surrounding the south and east sides are large cedar trees that seem to be holding the house upright. I know they can fall in a minute but this one seems to maintain. It is supported.

When I see these houses I wonder about it's occupants. Did they move to a better home? Did they leave Oklahoma? Did they just move to the next house about 1/2 a mile away? I know there are some folks who could tell me. I suppose part of the mystery is in the 'not' knowing. The speculation and the imagination that puts a family there, with a story and relationships. With good times and also hard times in that little house I am sure they did well.

Sometimes I think about this house that the cedars support it like we support one another when we get to leaning into the world. We have friends who come when we call. We have family that surround us at times of joy and sadness. We have the opportunity to be both friend and family to those around us...letting them lean on us when they need to do so.

What do you imagine they have done? What were their names?

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why Not Me?

I went to tacoBell, (confession) and got a little lunch and they gave me the receipt and said... and if you go to the website you might win $1000. And I thought...Why not me. After all it is my birthday and what a great way to finish 59 years? So far it's still in the car and it's really cold out.

So again allow me to tell you about one of my favorite birthday memories. I must have been 11 or 12 and in Ohio where we lived it was always cold. I had wanted ice skates and had probably begged for them. My birthday was on a Saturday that year and I knew my dad was busy with some project on Friday night. But he made me promise not to look out the back window. I held my promise. But when I woke he was there saying look out there and tell me what you see.

He had made me an ice rink. He used big sheets of plastic, some wood for the frame and the weather did the rest with the water. It was great...At my place at breakfast were my skates. They bought them bigger than I needed so I could grow into them.
What fun! My friends Susie, Jackie and Nancy came over and we took turns trying out the skates with the others watching and cheering and laughing from the kitchen window. How we all wore them was a mystery. We had such fun. The rink lasted for several weeks and it great fun.

Most of the time I'd go skating with friends on the lake at the OSU golf course. As I think about that now I still remember looking at the edge of the ice and seeing that it was 5 or 6 inches or more thick. Several folks would skate. One of the favorite places was under the willows because it was often smoother ice there. I recall after a few little thaws and some extra snow skating across it with it soooo bumpy.

When Ohio State started their Ice Hockey program I remember my cousins and I going to skate at the arena and we couldn't believe how smooth the ice was. It was so great and it was a whole different kind of sport.

As a college student I took PE classes almost every term. It was a way of keeping active physically. I took tennis and of course golf and ice skating. I took 3 or four terms of ice skating. It was such good exercise. I even had Oberheimer skates made to fit my feet. (My feet which have since college grown a few sizes..darn the luck).

In my dreams when I dream of skating it is alaways a good sign because it means that things are going well. It is a symbol perhaps unique to me but it's there on a repeating time.

When you think of your birthday do you think of it being the beginning or the end of a year? For me it's the beginning so I'm beginning my 60th year...even though I mark finishing 59. What is ahead this year? God knows.

God abide with you

Bobbie Bane Giltz McGarey
January 17, 1948 Columbus Ohio 7:10 pm


Sunday, January 14, 2007

dancing on the edge of the world

Musorrie is a Hill Station in NE India. The British established these places to make it through the hot hot summers. Mussorie is one of the stations and also the home of Woodstock International School with Presbyterian ties.

I was here a few weeks ago with my mother, Gladys and Aunt Margaret. They are in their 80's.

Dancing on the edge of the world

Landaur Villa is as exotic and beautiful as the name may sound. It is a bungalow perched, literally on the edge of the mountain. From it’s porch, which extends around it you, can see all of the Hill Station of Mussorie. At 7,000 you are truly in the clouds. To the East rising above the mists of the mountain valleys the high Himalayas. Their ridges at a great distance in another country still dominate the sky as you look East. What an amazing awesome view.

Did we dance there? Not in the literal sense of the word, dance. But we stood there with Gladys and Margaret and as they walked around their childhood home we heard story after story, Oh look! This is where…. And this went on and on. Binding them to a time before and us to them and that time as well. We were blended into another place, Momma’s desk and the table where they all sat and did their work. The chest that had been in the living room was still there with dishes inside from another owner. It stood as it always had tucked in the corner such rich colored wood. All of this is so beautiful.

Then they stood and looked where they had played as girls with their brothers. “This is the tree, isn’t it, where Dad hung the swing?” They looked up. We looked with them and saw across the branch a rusted piece of metal and links of chain around it. The metal had been placed over the branch to protect it. It had. And the chain with four or five links on each side also rusted. But as we looked we saw it bright shining and young children gleeful around the base seeing the swing for the first time and taking turns to see who could swing out the farthest. It must have been a glorious swing that took them out over the patio and the house. They were girls then and in this moment are girls again.

So that was the dancing. Not a two-step or ballet but a dance of the heart unlike any other.

OH look! Come see! This is where….

God abide
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Individually beautiful.

I walked outside a few minutes ago between rain/sleet showers and it was really beautiful. Each of the branches of each tree, and any tiny leaf is coated with ice. Some of the tree limbs bend in the weigh of the ice. The magnolia tree whose large leaves carry a lot of the weight often suffer in such a storm. The big pines needles are coated and standing individually where they often seem like a big mass or brush. There is beauty here to be sure. A little sunshine would make it even more luminous. Perhaps that will come. As we are now it is scheduled to snow/rain/sleet more overnight staying quite cold.

We are warm inside and grateful that thus far we have electricity or I wouldn't be writing this to you.

The Church services are going to be individual. Each one with their own Bible. We will not meet formally as the weather makes getting out a hazard. And actually without the benefit of snow shovels or ice removers the sidewalks will be quite treacherous.

But we will worship. We will be in prayer for all the concerns we have, for peace in this troubled time, for warmth for those without shelter or heat, for food for he hungry, for love for he lost, for healing for us all. We pray for the peace and shelter, and food, and love for all of us because at some level we all need it when any of our sisters and brothers need it wherever they may be.

Garth Brooks an Oklahoman sang a song some years ago, We shall be Free. The lyrics are worth your checking. It is a very faithful Christian song.

So on this cold day here in January let's pray about how we can bring freedom. I'd like to hear your ideas.

God abides
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ice Quiet

I'm home this afternoon with the ice storm that has come to this part of the country. The windows of my car are getting coated and I'm not sure I'll be even able to open the doors once the glazing stops...whenever that is.
I took our Daughter's dog outside for a walk and she was more than eager to just turn around and come back inside.
But you could hear the ice falling in the trees...and the ice creeking as the tree limbs moved in the wind. And so now I wait to see if the ice gets thick enough to break the electric power lines. Sigh.
John bought me one of the flashlights that you don't need to use with batteries. You just have to crank it for a little to get a good deal of light. I imagine I'll get an opportunity to use it tonight.
If so I'll have to take to writing with a pen and paper as the computer and all other electric appliances will be out. We have a fire place in the den so we'll have heat where we need it. Our stove is gas powered too for any cooking we might want to do. We are safe and warm.
Ice quiet comes when all the noises of this world stop. We hear our heart beat, the sound of a voice of care, and we know that we are going to be ok.

Be quiet if you get a chance where ever you are. Listen for your heartbeat. Reminding you that you have life and breath... It is free for the listening.

God abide
I pray you are safe and warm
Bobbie Giltz McGarey

Friday, January 05, 2007

Easy silence that you make for me

The Dixie Chicks, a singing group in the US have a wonderful song on their newest album called Easy Silence. It is a prayer in it's best meaning. The song speaks of peaceful quiet that someone keeps the 'world' at bay for me.
It is an adult lullaby or prayer. We seek in our lives some place, some way to turn from the chaos that spins around us, the troubles and trials, and it brings us to understand that we can find places of peacefulness. That deep breath and hope that comes when we feel centered and protected. It is obvious that many are finding this kind of retreat essential in their lives as folks pay big money for quiet, for a spa where they don't think but move from pampering to pampering. We don't have time or often funds to do spa-weekends but we can find ways to center and pamper our souls in such a way that we feel renewed.
These places of quiet contemplation can come just sitting on the porch of our home with a cup of tea or coffee watching the day. Putting away all shoulds or oughts and focusing on others. Walking in meditation is another way to do the same thing. It is not easy as we are often driven in walking to go farther-faster not attending to each step with an affirmation word or prayer we repeat with each step. Slowly slowly letting the body energy fill the prayer words to the best they can.
God makes and easy silence for us. let's be certain in this new year to recieve it.
Ah slowly pause breathe here it comes shhhhh listen...wait...
God abide
bobbie giltz mcGarey

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

home again

Grace and peace abound. I've seen it. With our travels so far around the world to be with family and to encourage other Christians by our being with them...I've renewed my sense of home. We were welcomed by so many, welcome home.

To be honest when we arrived at our house about 6:40 pm I rubbed the dog, petted the cat, said hello to the bird, laid down and slept till now. I'm hoping for some further rest after I write this note.

Home can be a dwelling of people that is huge and lavish, or modest and fitting, a tent, a tarp, a box, a blanket, it is where one finds the ability to rest. Some who have no home suffere because of the elements. I also think someone without a home suffer from a heart-ache of not being missed or having someone to account for...suffer from a lack of mutuality. I need you and you need me.

We all need to be honored and prot. ected and treated with love and civiity.

We came through customs at the US LosAngeles airport. We went through immigration, got all our baggage and huddled in a circle for a last prayer of the group together. It didn't take long and there wouldn't be another time when we'd all be in the same place. The customs guy roughly said, Get on out of here! We did. The next stranger came by and bumped our carts and swore. The man on the van to the hotel picked up our luggage like we were asking him to do something unusual and out of the ordinary. When we got to the hotel he threw it down out on the ground scouling. Whee we knew we were home. No wonder Americans traveling get a bad reputation we don't even treat one another with respect. In his hurry to get rid of us John's backpack was left on the van.

The woman in the hotel was most most helpful. She located the Van driver and they brought the bag to us as we ate lunch. She apologized for the rudeness and the man's boss came and did the same. A hotel knows it's reputation is based all along the way from when you get on their van till you leave a satisfied customer.

Home again. Greeted with affection by pets. Sleeping on a familar and much softerpillow than for the two weeks we were gone. Seeing in our minds eye the people here whom we aloed...superimposed by the pictuers of the

children, loved and accepted. In these days of the Epiphany when the kings welcomed Jesus let us make ready for someone to come and to be with us to welcome the stranger and love our neighbor, now and always.

Alleluia, amen..

Bobbie Giltz McGarey