Inward Light

Forging a Relationship with Self

When I was a child, I craved quiet places where I could be alone with my feelings. Sometimes I would go along the side of the house where camellia and pomegranate grew or down the stone steps to a small orchard under a tangerine tree in full fruit. Later in life, when I was old enough to be trusted, I would venture to a meadow and lie down in the tall grasses or climb high in a tree.

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Finding Life with the Dead

My sanctuary is my favorite cemetery. It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there. Shielded by shrubbery, it runs down a slope to the river. Outside, my life is rushed and I lose the bigger picture. Inside, I walk with ghostly companions, listen to their wisdom, and find perspective.

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A Spiritual Home

I have noticed that more young adults have been coming to our meetings for worship since we reopened our meetinghouse after COVID. Perhaps the pandemic gave them time to reflect. Young adulthood is naturally a time of choosing the values one will live by. I think the young people who visit our meeting are looking for ways to practice their values with other people.

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Creating out of Silence and Light

In the late 1960s, a researcher named Frank Barron explored the relationship of religion and creativity and whether being religious and/or spiritual had an effect on the artist. He interviewed Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and a Hindu, as well as a number of others. The interviews were quite straightforward until he talked about the Quaker artist.

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Alternative Realities

I met Rachel Heisham Bieri in Missoula, Montana, four months after she had been given a terminal cancer diagnosis. She was forty-five then, only fifteen years older than I was, though she was already a grandmother. Doctors had given her two months to live.

We met through a Facebook hiking group and built a friendship based on outdoor adventures and a shared love of barefoot hiking.

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