Dear Friends,

 We hope that you are safe and well.

 We carry you in our hearts along the way of our pilgrimage as we make our way home. Today's Meditation is Carrie Newcomer meditating on "That Was a Keeper." We have been struck by the friendliness of people as we travel. It makes us wonder if getting to know each other better builds bridges across our differences.

We invite you to join us as we commit ourselves to working tirelessly to end systemic and structural racism in our society, in the church, in healthcare, in the workplace--wherever it shows up so that everyone may come to have more abundant life. May this meditation nourish our contemplative-active hearts and sustain all of us in action.

In the spirit of our philosophy of co-creating community and our awareness that the Spirit speaks through each of us, we invite you to share your meditations with us as well. We truly believe that it is God's economy of abundance: when we share our blessings, our thoughts, our feelings, we are all made richer.

We hope and pray that you find peace, healing, hope and the infusion of joy in your life!

With our love and care,

Ron and Jean

MEDITATION 813: Carrie Newcomer: "That was a Keeper"

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Sunday Post - That Was A Keeper

In the meadow with Robert - more autumn photos below

Well, both my husband Robert and I tested positive for the Covid-19 virus this week. I’m grateful that for both of us it has been a mild case as these things go, but as a result I’ve spent a lot of time this week appreciating the balm of sleep and gazing out at the forest and bird feeders through the windows of my home. It has been an extraordinary year for fall colors in my little part of the planet. All through the day the house has felt bathed in a golden light. Yesterday evening I took my first walk in a few days. The air was crisp and dry and each brilliant leaf seemed to be glowing from within. Sycamore leaves the size of dinner plates floated down to rest at my feet. Even now as I try to write about the experience, words feel small and inadequate.

I remember a tour years ago at peak season in northern New Hampshire. The leaves were so opaque with color it felt as if each individual leaf had been drenched or hand painted. I felt giddy and amazed at how the world could, in that moment, feel brighter beneath the canopy instead more shaded. There was another time when my daughter and I walked along a ridge top as the leaves were falling all around us, the piles of color and rasp of them around our feet. Coming around a curve on the path the light through the trees made the forest look ablaze, burning with red and orange fire, making both of us gasp and hold hands, our hearts pounding until we realized there was no smoke and what we were experiencing was a rarefied moment of light and air and autumn leaves. Still holding hands, we began to grin at one another, eye full and brimming, wondering how we might ever contain such beauty and joy if it were not so fleeting. Yesterday’s walk in the woods had that same feeling of transcendence, a time to hold in my mind and cherish later saying, “Ah yes, that was something – that was a keeper.”

I don’t know why some years are more brilliant than others. I’ve heard folk wisdom quoted that it is because of too much or too little water, a too late or too early frost, a balmy spring or a hard winter. These could all be factors in one way or another. All I know is that the real scientific amalgamation is complex. There is most likely a thousand million interconnected known and unknown reasons why and how natural processes come together to create something that feels akin to magic, and experienced as undiluted unexpected grace. As Marv Hiles wrote in the Almanac of the Soul, “Nature is poetic, not clinical. Harvest is both science and art. The vine know; the vintner senses. “

Sometimes these moments of awe and wonder come when we are paying attention and indeed attention is a form of contemplation. But so often they come as a reminder, a whisper, or even a friendly shake of the shoulders to call us back home, call us to appreciation and wonder, to sense the parable of the seasons and cherish such moments with humility and gratitude.

I know it is human to hold on to memories of harm and wounding. These are things to be held and hopefully, eventually with love and compassion healed. But my prayer for the day to The Hands that holds everything forever and falling, is to let me also make a place in my heart for the small moments of extraordinary, ordinary, rarified things, for the belly laughs that subsided to snickers then started up all over again, the quiet moments when love was made visible and our tenderness for one another is given without reserve.

QUESTION: Can you tell us a story of a moment you remember, either in the natural world or with another person when you said, “Ah yes, that was a keeper.

I love Joyce Sutphen’s poetry. She is the poet laureate of Minnesota. If you aren’t familiar with her work here is a link to her website. Ever since the first time I read this wonderful poem, whenever I experience a rarified moment I think, “Ah yes, that was something. That was a keeper…and thank you Joyce!”

Recommendations - Books, Events & Other Stuff


Early voting has started in many states. Especially women make your voice heard! Women have become second class citizens in many states with wide repercussions to women and health care providers on every level. One party has made it clear a full national ban on a woman’s right to choose is in their plans. Don’t be lulled into thinking it won’t happen in your state, or that they don’t mean it. Women’s rights are human rights.

VOTE “No” to every anti democracy candidate, particularly election deniers with election administrative powers in your city, county or state.

October 25, 2022 6:30 PM Central Time

Sherrill Knezel & Parker J. Palmer Heart Speak Book Release Event

- Carrie Newcomer Moderator

I’m so excited and honored to be moderating a conversation with author/artist Sherrill Knezel & Parker J. Palmer about Sherrill’s new visual interpretation (with meditations and commentary) of Parker’s classic book Let Your Life Speak. They will be speaking to the themes of the Let Your Life Speak in visual form, discernment, calling, creative process and collaboration and the power of visuals.

It will be a similar format to our The Growing Edge Podcast, but live and online! Here is what is being said about Heart Speak and this upcoming event.

Time Oct 25, 2022 06:30 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

Please register here:

October 29, 2022 7:30 PM ET

Bloomington Roots Presents Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas (online and in person)

My husband, Robert Meitus, and I are involved with a wonderful online and inperson music series through Bloomington Roots. I won’t be on the bill with this show but I’ll be in the audience with you! Natalie Haas did all the beautiful cello parts on my The Beautiful Not Yet album. You’ve heard her lovely work on songs like “You Can Do This Hard Thing.” I hope you’ll check it out. They will be performing at the FAR Center for the Contemporary Arts. You can get your online or in person tickets at this Bloomington Roots Link

Book Recommendations

My Friend and Author Phyllis Cole-Dai has just released a new book called Staying Power: Writings From a Pandemic Year. I had the opportunity to read the book before it was published and it was so good for my heart and spirit, true and human and hopeful. I hope you check it out. Here’s the link

Barbara Kingsolver has just released a new book as well. I just downloaded it because I know if it is Barbara’s it will be beautifully written and have deep and meaningful insights. Barbara was our guest on The Growing Edge Podcast this summer. It was a beautiful conversation about her most recent book of poetry How To Fly. Here’s a link for her new book on Morgansterns Independent Bookstore Online

Just for Fun Online Series Recommendations

Since we are headed into cold, flu season, and many of us will have a few days on the couch with a tissue box and looking for feel a good series or movie, I recommend Abbot Elementary it’s warm, funny and the characters are great. Set in mockumentary style, its the story of the teachers who work in an inner-city elementary school in Philadelphia. If you loved Ted Lasso, you might like this series too.

More knitted things in process….but my dog Ella thinks its done and its her’s!

Read A Gathering of Spirits in the Substack app

Available for iOS and Android