Saturday, August 22, 2009


Having worked 5 days a week all summer, I am DELIGHTED to inform you that I now have 3 weeks holidays! WHAT A WONDROUS FEELING! I think, being 39, delight is always tempered with the awareness that hope and disappointment go together. Still!! The girls are off to Camp Erin, a special camp for grieving children, 2 nights overnight. Bens and I shall backpack up to the Pacific Crest Trail and camp between Surprise Lake and Glacier Lake. I am excited! Bens isn't - he is a kindly husband, to come and do things which I really want to do and he doesnt. Next week, the four of us shall hike in to Boardman Lake, which all my family except my dear sisters, R, S, K, A & B, and my dear nephews E, S, R, D & Z have visited - Sam rode a log boat there, and we always think of him when there is a log floating - nobody else has ever been able to stay standing up!!!!!!!!

It was raining this morning, after a hot, sunny week, and the weather forecast was abysmal, Puddleglummish, Eeyoresque, saying how summer was over, fall leaves here, no more sunshine. I was so mad at Seattle. Pacific Northwesterners love to talk about how the short summer is over so quickly. I think, in a funny kind of way, they like to be gloomy about their weather.

Now I'm excited again and it's stopped raining!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oriole Camping Ground, Conconully, Eastern Washington, August 16, 2009

Dearest Susan, wife of Ben, Mother of Benjamin and Kat, Nana of Eowyn and Coco, sister of Carol and Jack, friend of Betty & Dave, Darcy & Rick, Jane & Jack, Joe, Jim & me,

We love you. We have loved your body - your blue eyes, filled with mischief and delight. Your lips, kissing us, speaking to us, eating chocolate. Your voice, sometimes excited, sometimes soft, occasionally stern. Your songs. Your hands, stroking baby's soft head, scrubbing counters so clean, writing forwards, writing backwards, writing words of kindness and love and honesty and acceptance. Words from the Bible, reflecting Jesus, whom you love. Your arms, hugging us, lifting up baby Benjamin and baby Kat and baby Eowyn and baby Coco. Your nose, smelling the pretty flowers in your garden, sensing the beauty and the wonder in the world. Your ears, listening to us. your heart, loving us, forgiving us, trusting us, hoping for us. Your face, frowning, lighting up, laughing, caring, loving. Your big toe, which you said Jesus pulled, and said, "Are you coming home soon?" Your body in pain and weakened by cancer. Your blue eyes, looking at each of us with love.

We hold these ashes in our hands, the ashes of your beautiful body. We sprinkle them here in Conconully, where we have shared wonderful camping adventures with you. We give thanks for your life, and the many ways you have given your body for us, giving life and birth to Benjamin and Kat, caring for each of us.

I read words from Sue's favourite book, the Bible. "He will swallow up death forever. And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces" Isaiah 25: 8

"Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting?" 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Jesus' speech reminds us of Sue's love for Jesus and appreciation of his acceptance of her. Jesus said, "Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day." John 5:40

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Meg answers Molly’s 3 questions!

Molly asked me these 3 questions, and I answered them for her, and wanted to share my answers with you!

1. When you think about ways to spend your time, what do you find yourself most passionate about (might be your occupation, or might not--also could be hobby or leisure activity)?

I am passionate about the big round moon which just peeped out behind the clouds. I am passionate about trees and sunshine and rain and rhythms. In a little moment of free time, I like to dance under my sacred trees in our garden, and in a longer moment I like to hike in the Cascade Mountains, especially in places which feel untouched by human hands.

Another thing I am passionate about is nurturing and caring for people, especially those who are small or powerless. I am passionate about mothering my children. I want to comfort people and make the world around them less threatening. Our family sponsors an 8 year old child named Raha who lives on the West Bank in Israel. When we receive photographs of her I cry, because it is such an honour that we get to provide her with clothes and food and schooling. I worked for a while in Uganda, as a midwife and nurse in a rural community. I am passionate about justice, and sharing power with those who have very little. My ideals and actions don’t always match up here as I would like. Materialism sucks me in.

I am passionate about exploration and discovery. I love going to places I’ve never been, meeting people who are very different from me. I’ve visited 39 countries (and 39 United States, and I’m 39!)

2. What about doing this activity gives you life? Other ways to ask this same question: What do you like about doing this activity? How does it encourage you to be more like you were created to be? What do you find nurturing about it? What about it feels like a little taste of heaven--"everything as it should be?"

Nature is life-giving for me. I feel pure when surrounded by trees, mountains, lakes, sky. I feel a part of creation, created by God, amongst other beautiful things created by God. I love the feeling of water on my skin as I dive into an alpine lake. I love keeping track of the moon’s waxing and waning, and the seasons pattern. Nature nurtures me, satiates me, feeds me. In nature I can see, and feel my part, which is heavenly.

Nurturing enlivens me in that being the strong, loving arms around my children is very peaceful. It reminds me of God’s strong loving arms around me. It feels heavenly to have a little place in giving comfort to another, and making the world happier.

Travelling is exhilarating for me because it awakens my sense of wonder, and fulfills my longing to see and know more.

3. Does this activity play some part in restoring your relationship with God? With others? With the environment around you and/or beyond?

Nature is crucial in restoring my relationship with God. Every month (thanks, dear husband Bens for helping this be possible!) I have a day alone in nature – in summer I hike in the Cascade Mountains, in winter I ski. This time reconnects me with God. The things which are sad and angering for me and in me I can pour out to God. Nature is his purifying, cleansing embrace around me. These monthly sojourns are helpful in my relationships with others, especially those relationships experiencing difficulty. God’s kindness and nurture so evident in his created beauty enable me to be honest and acknowledge my part in these relationship difficulties, and God guides me in what to say and how to say it. Especially my relationships with Bens and Eowyn and Cosette, the three to whom I am closest in all the world.

Nurturing restores the peace and comfort in my girls’ hearts, and others hearts. I like the old definition of religion as being to ‘religamentise’ – to bring healing and putting back together. Playing this role in others’ lives is restorative and hope-inspiring for them and for me. My actions can hurt others, too, and experiencing redemption and forgiveness and grace from others is healing for me.

Travelling restores my relationship with God, because seeing the abundance, the wonder, the diversity, the pain in his creation shows me him, his experiencing our human pain with us, his sorrow, his suffering, his redemption, his glory. I am thankful for him.

Friday, August 07, 2009

"Is this a piece of your brain?"

This toothpaste like gooey concuction is, somehow or other, me!
And the good news is, everything is normal, no sinister tumours or aneurysms or other such things.
Well, brilliant, but medically normal.
So there's no explanation for my very low oestrogen - please pray my body starts making it again, as I miss having oestrogen and menstrual cycles, and it's essential for strong bones.

Saturday, August 01, 2009