Big Surprise

If you talk to most Minnesotans, they will probably admit to a certain feeling of what we call in our house ‘Groundhog Day’. Taken from the movie with Bill Murray where his character is destined to live the same day over and over again until he learns to be a nicer person and love his life, these February days have a similar feeling. The snow that has been with us since late fall, and continues to want to renew itself, provides the perfect monochromatic backdrop for these feelings. The sameness outside mirrors the sameness of daily activities that are itching for change. For spring. For green. For a glimpse of renewal of life.

So yesterday I left the office after a day of doing wonderful things, normal things that needed to be accomplished, things that had been done in a similar way the day before and the week before that. I made my way onto the freeway heading east. I had barely made the courageous merge into traffic when my eyes beheld a big surprise,a startling sight. A large black SUV was pulling a trailer with an enormous silver statue of a horse on it. Galloping along at rush hour speed was a ten to twelve foot tall horse that look like it was perhaps made out of chrome car fenders. Patch worked together with various segments of silver this stallion was an impressive sight. I shifted lanes to follow the horse as if to be its guardian protector. Coming up on my right I noticed a car, driver’s side window rolled down, the driver holding their phone out to snap a picture of this amazing vision. To my left the driver on their cell phone seemed oblivious to the racetrack they now traveled.

The traffic changed and I slipped out of my lane to pull up beside the mighty horse. I galloped alongside for sometime until the cars in my lane slowed down and for awhile I lost my place beside this mighty horse. My mind then slipped to our oldest son who had been such a horse lover as a child. I longed to participate in some time travel experience, to have him in the car with me, a young boy,knowing the sheer joy he would have had at this beautiful sight. By this time I was once again riding along side this steed, flanked by its surprising gift to my day.

Soon it was time for me to exit. I could not follow this equine art into the sunset. It was time to return to the normal flow of my February day. But I did so with a renewed spirit, with a lift in my chest and a smile on my face. Just when I thought all these days were grinding away in the depths of the white landscape, one the same as the last, a silver horse showed up and surprised my senses and filled me with joy.

It was an important reminder to stay awake to the possibilities of each day. No doubt all days, no matter the similarity to the days that went before, have a surprise or two tucked within. Our work is to keep our eyes open and our hearts ready for whatever the big surprise of the day will be. Like Bill Murray in ‘Groundhog Day’ we need to be ready to fall in love with every day and what it will offer.

Sometimes those offerings include enormous horses. Happy watching!

“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”
~Pam Brown


On many Sundays, I remind those with whom I worship that we have all arrived with the bags of our week carried invisibly at our sides. Indeed, we carry the bags of our lives fully packed with us through every moment of every day. It is a helpful metaphor, a useful image for me as I assess the sometimes curious reasons why I do what I do. It is something I tell couples I meet with as we do pre-marriage counseling. They carry with them the bags of the lives they have led up to that point and will carry the contents of those bags into this life they will forge together. It is true, I believe, of all relationships, all friendships. The baggage of our life thus far infuses our work, our play, our understanding of faith, the development of what we might even call our theology.

So, it was with some fascination that I read a prayer today from a little prayer book published by the Iona Community. It was written by Kathy Galloway.

“Oh my Lord,
I am carrying too much luggage,
and it’s weighing me down,
holding me back.
I worry about losing it,
but don’t need much of the stuff I’m dragging about.
It blocks up the aisles and gangways,
getting in the way,
making people cross
and wrapping itself around my ankles.
I need to travel light,
but don’t know what to do with all this stuff.”

Whew! I can certainly relate to those words. Can you? I think of all that is packed in my bags: guilt, old resentments, unfair expectations of myself and others, jealousy, feelings of being wronged or misunderstood, insecurities to beat the band, failures….the list goes on and on.

Of course I also have some very fine stuff packed that I carry with me all the time. The felt experience of unconditional love, the support of community,deep friendships, a sense of humor, the love of beauty,to name only a few. I think of some of those things I am glad I have packed away, things like my father’s gift of loyalty passed on to me through DNA and modeling. I treasure it. And yet I also know that even this precious, positive gift has sometimes kept me blind to important realities, kept me closed to some possibilities.

How we are able to understand the luggage we carry makes a big difference in how we move and have meaning in the world. What we have packed in our bags has the power to move us forward or hold us back. What is packed in your bag? What are you ready to throw out to lighten your way?

These days many Minnesotans are thinking of packing bags to head for warmer places. Sunday’s snowstorm was, for some, the last straw. Even if literal travel is not in your foreseeable future, perhaps today is a day to take stock of what is tucked away in your life’s luggage that no longer serves you. Perhaps today is a day to give it a toss into the circular file. It could be the beginning of traveling lighter and opening to what the hoped for spring will bring.

Kathy Galloway’s prayer ends with these words:

you take it.
I’m leaving it with you.
Perhaps you can find a better use for it.
For who knows me better than you,
who has given me the substance of my life,
bone and marrow, patterned in my mother’s womb?
You are my unfolding and my unburdening.
You are the keeper of my deepest secrets.”

For all which we carry with us every day that needs honoring, may we find the grace to do so. For all that needs to be given away or given up, may we have the courage to unloose our grip. All the while knowing the Holy One walks with us in each blessed step.

Daily Rhythms

“This day and this night,
May I know,O God,
The deep peace of the running wave
The deep peace of the flowing air
The deep peace of the quiet earth
The deep peace of the shining stars
The deep peace of the Child of Peace.”
~J. Philip Newell, Celtic Prayers from Iona

Over the weekend I had the privilege of being on the North Shore, about an hour north of Duluth. Driving there in an intense fog, we arrived long after dark, to spend a few days with friends at a family cabin. The fog was so thick as we drove the last several miles that we had no landmarks to give us our bearings. All we knew was that every now and then, the fog would clear and we would catch a glimpse of the cold, sparkling waters of Lake Superior out the passenger window. Just as suddenly as it had appeared, we would again be plunged into the enveloping fog, and the lake would be gone from our sight once again.

Being an early riser, even while on vacation, I was awake the next morning to see the sun come up over the Big Lake. What had been invisible to me in the foggy night was now shining in the morning sun. As I sat watching the morning sky turn numerous shades of pastels…..pale yellow, blue, turquoise, lavender,…..I was reminded of the many times the fog of night has obscured my ability to see what becomes clear by morning’s light. I thought of the many times I have wrestled the fears and demons of the nighttime only to find myself calmer and better sighted in the pure light of morning. Perhaps you have had similar experiences.

From my picture window lookout I could see how the ice cold waters of winter had made coats for the enormous rocks that formed the cove in front of me. Large stone walls had been splashed by what had to have been tremendous waves, over and over again, until they now wore icy, thick layers forming what looked like icebergs. The waves were much calmer now but I could still see the waves pushed and pulled by the strong winds. Dancing back and forth across the water, wind became visible.

That evening we were graced by the full moon making its presence known in the winter sky. Slowly it moved across the sky until it stood just in line with the cove, with the cabin’s windows. A brilliant shaft of white light traveled from moon to the ice formations below. As we gazed at the moon bathing the earth in light, I thought of all the stories I have heard of children who beg their parents to give them the moon. This is not metaphor but real. They want that big, shiny, round jewel. At that moment, it would have seemed to me like the most natural thing to want to reach up and take possession of the moon. Such beauty!

To be present to the daily rhythms of sunrise and sunset is a gift and something we rarely, in our fast paced world, allow ourselves to notice. Of course, sunrise and sunset over Lake Superior gives this practice a certain profound nature. But, I wonder, how might my life be different if, for just one week I would be present, really present to both the rising and the setting of the sun. How would it help put everything else that happens in a day in perspective? Somehow I think it might be something to consider. Do you?

I think of the ancient Celts who had prayers for the rising and the setting of the sun and many other daily experiences. The daily rhythms of their lives were always kept in the full light of their traveling with the Holy. The understanding of the imminent presence of God in such mundane tasks as washing the floor, milking the cows, building the fire that would warm them and cook their food, was never far from their lips, their heart. Some part of me longs to travel in such close Presence. How about you? From sunrise to sunset, through the profound moments of a Full Moon to the mundane of laundry, to remember that with every turning of the day, the Holy and I make our path together. It is in the noticing that we come face to face with the truth. A truth to be remembered and claimed with the rising of each day.

Emerging Light

Yesterday morning, early, I sat in a chair looking out the window waiting for the day’s light to emerge. I knew the lake was out there and that the ice houses had spent the night being refrozen in place by the night’s cold temperatures. During the day the balmy temps and glaring sun and created little moats around the tiny structures. But I trusted that the colder airs of nighttime had glued them safely once again to the lake’s frozen surface. Blackness was all that I could see.

At some point of the night I had been awakened with the feeling that I had perhaps overslept. It was so light in my room. I thought it must be morning. But as I shook the sleep from my head and groped for consciousness, I saw it was the nearly full moon that was shining brightly through my window. I moved the pillows around in my retreat center bed and situated myself in the wash of its rays. It was a powerfully primal experience. Like those ancients who had known only the stars and moon as their canopy, I now found myself in their company. After some time, I must have fallen asleep once again, held in the waxing whiteness of the winter moon.

Hours layer I sat, waiting for the light to come once again to the morning sky. Slowly the blackness began to turn to a deep blue. The outlines of the enormous oak trees, naked in their February state, slipped into the vision of the landscape. As the light emerged, shadows took form and I saw the tiny wooden houses take become visible once again. I watched as the day began. I could now make out the cars and trucks parked beside the ice houses confirming once again that there are people so much braver than I.

To watch a day arrive is a gift. I am happy to say that it was not a gift that was lost on me. I breathed in its pure possibility. I offered prayers for those things I believed the day would hold and also for those that would surprise me. Someplace, in the recesses of mind the scripture echoed: This is the day God has made. Rejoice!

And I felt the truth of that statement, and that command, at some very deep place within.

Holy Listening

Once again I find myself overlooking a frozen lake dotted with ice houses. It is February and time for a retreat in which a gathering of faithful people, some clergy and some not, will hear the stories of those who are coming to the United Methodist church to become ordained for ministry. It has been my privilege to serve in this way for several years now. In preparation we have read papers that have been prepared by the candidates and have watched sermons they have preached. But today we will do the truly holy work of speaking with them, asking questions and doing the work of holy listening.

To begin our time together last night, we heard the story of Elijah, his love of God and telling God’s movement in the world. Elijah is told to go out and stand on the mountain because the Holy One is about to pass by. In I Kings it says: “Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before God, but God was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but God was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake, a fire, but God was not in the fire; and after the fire, the sound of sheer silence.” The story goes on to say that when Elijah heard this powerful silence he covered his face and heard God’s voice asking: “What are you doing here?”

I can imagine that at least a few of the candidates for ministry may have awoken this morning asking themselves this question. My prayer is that some small, still voice has entered them allowing them to know that there are grace-filled people who are waiting to listen to their lives. My prayer is that they will know that we will be listening to the strong winds, the earthquakes, the fires and, most importantly, the silences that have enfolded their journey.

This is why we are all here. This is the work for this day, for these people. But isn’t this really the work we are offered every day? This is not the task set simply before those who are interviewing people called to ministry. The work of holy listening is offered to us with the rising of the sun each day. In all our relationships. In all the daily comings and goings of work, family, play, in the errands we run, the strangers we encounter.

Earthquakes, strong winds, and fires are moving through the lives of nearly every person we meet. All these same acts are moving across the face of our world. Surely the Holy One is in it all. And there are those moments of sheer silence that also hold the gentle, sometimes prodding, presence of God. Our work, should we choose to accept it, is to practice holy listening.This is why we are here.

For the healing of the world………

Words of Love

This is a day set aside for the proclamation of love. Valentine’s Day. St. Valentine’s Day to be exact. It is a day many love and others loathe. Yesterday at church I asked one young boy if he was ready for Valentine’s Day. He replied that he was ‘doing’ his valentines that afternoon. I asked if he would be sending a card for anyone special to him to which he said: “No. They all have to be equal. I am giving pencils.” I was amused at the idea of this parceled out form of ‘equal’ love.

Later in the day, I visited the children next door where there was a bustling of Valentine’s Day preparation. Sitting on the kitchen counter was the brightly decorated box with the slit in the top which today will be the doorway for all manner of heart adorned cards, small chocolate bars, red candy hearts and probably a few pencils. All forms of recognition to the box owner of sentiments of friendship and perhaps even a kind of love.

Returning home I called my mother to wish her an early happy Valentine’s Day. We laughed together as we remembered the many similar boxes we had decorated over my childhood. We also laughed at the ways in which my brother had approached a holiday he found very challenging, including the pain staking deliberation he executed as he chose cards that would not imply too much love to those he barely even liked.

In some ways this day is a little sad. Why do we need a special day to declare our love, or even our like, to another person? Instead, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all had decorated boxes sitting outside our doors every day? Boxes in which we would find notes of affirmation, love, good energy, even prayers from those whose lives are entwined with ours? What if we chose any day, a Thursday for instance, of every week to send just one such note to someone? Think of the difference this act would make to that person, and probably to us.

How we express our love comes in so many forms, most of which cost nothing, and certainly less than the hundreds or even millions spent today on roses. Not that I have anything against roses because I certainly love the ones that graced our dining room table this morning. But acts and words of love are a gift we have to offer that costs us little and reaps much.

Over the last few days I have seen the power of love in so many places. In people reaching out to others who needed comfort. In music being made. In stories told of how they were healed by the touch of another’s presence. In food being prepared and shared. In hearts made from red construction paper. In laughter that cut through a difficult moment. In hands that dried tearful eyes.

Days set aside or everyday, ordinary days can be times for sharing the transforming power of loving words and actions. The ultimate result of love brings many gifts. Affirmation. Recognition. Wholeness. Healing. Belonging. The artist and poet Jan L. Richardson writes:
Within the space
of human loving –
in the wonder of it,
in the strangeness of it,
in the completely common
rarity of it,
may you find
your healing and
your home.

Valentine’s Day or any day, isn’t that what we all desire?


“Smile, breathe, go slowly.” ~Thich Nhat Hahn

This January I began fulfilling a long time desire. I began practicing yoga. While I had taken a few classes here and there, it never seemed to stick. The time was wrong. I was too busy. Once the room was even too cold to make me stick with it! But this new endeavor seems to be turning out much better. I love the attention to breath….so important to so many things……stress reduction, anger management, prayer. And I love the music they play….mostly soothing and contemplative.

One of the words used quite often by the teacher is ‘available’, as in ‘if this is available to you.’ She says this as she is moving into a particular pose, stretching her limber body in  all manner of shapes. In this context ‘available’ means ‘if you can do this.’ It is such a nice grace-filled way of approaching a pose that, many times, seems to me pretty impossible! But I never feel shamed or too old or unable…..the pose simply isn’t available to me yet. Which in turn implies that it will be some day. It is a very hopeful feeling. Plus each time the teacher says ‘available’ it makes me smile and that has to also be good for my practice, doesn’t it? Smiling several times an hour, while breathing deeply and stretching my muscles into various lunges, has to be doing something wonderful in my body, in my spirit.

There are many things in life that are not available to us on any given day. These unavailable acts are based on so many factors….experience, education, economics, where we were born, the list goes on and on. But just because they are unavailable today does not mean they will always be so. I know this from my very short practice of yoga so far. The first several times I tried Tree pose, it was more like tree-in-wild-storm pose. My body whipped this way and that, falling over every time. And then one day,after a few short weeks, I did it. I stood tall and still, not for very long, but I did it! Tree was available to me. I felt such a surge of energy and power.

Of course, the next day when I tried to be my Tree,  the winds were blowing once again. But I am still holding onto the day when Tree pose and I became one. This small little piece of wisdom learned through yoga has filtered out into my understanding of other things in life that may be available….or not. Sometimes patience seems completely unavailable. Same with forgiveness. And compassion. That’s where practice comes into play. The more I practice a patient mind, a forgiving heart, a compassionate spirit, they become slowly available.

And so that is one of the true lessons of this short yoga practice I have begun. The time set aside for connecting with this breath that keeps each of us moving on the earth sets in motion the notion that much becomes available to us when we practice and practice and practice.

What would you like to move from the unavailable to available spot in your life? What pose would you like to hold and strengthen until you are full of energy and power? We have a weekend ahead that promises a hint of spring. May we all find the joy of this ‘available’ to us and may our hearts be lifted in gratitude.


Yesterday I had the pleasure of observing the many miles of snow covered land between the Twin Cities and Milwaukee. It is one of my favorite drives. I love looking out at the various farms, some looking modern with ranch-style, one level houses and others with the white, two-story structures with wrap around porches. The barns in their various colors….red, lots of red……green…..brown…….white……even blue…..make colorful markings against the stark white of the rolling fields. In some places straw or stray cornstalks interrupt the snowy landscape making their death-brown look much more beautiful than it really is. In just a few short months(we hope!) the rich soil will be teeming with seeds and growth. Corn and soybeans will once again create the picture of abundance out the car window. But for now there is white, shining brilliant and crusted from strong winds and powerful doses of sunshine.

After several miles of allowing my eyes to take in this wintry scene, I began to notice the places where paths had been cut in the snow. There were those places where snowmobiles zoom by at what seems tremendous speeds, cutting this way and that at the sides of the roads, often charging across the road like the deer we know to what out for in autumn. These paths were made for fun and a sense of freedom.

There were cross country ski paths that meandered through open fields and into the woods that ring the highway. The sight of those paths bring a feeling of calm and that whooshing sound that is only made by the sound of skis on snow. I imagined the skiers moving away from the frantic traffic of the highway into the depths of the woods where they stopped to catch their breath. Allowing the silence they now had found to wash over them, I thought of them drinking in the smell of the evergreens, the moist earth, the air that chilled their lungs. These were paths for connecting to the earth and to one’s heartbeat.

Every now and then I would notice other paths made not by humans or their toys but by animals whose footprints were too far away for me to identify. One set of prints created this wonderful winding, circular pattern, in and out, around and back, as if they had been playing a child’s chasing game. This path made me smile.

Then, of course, there were the paths made by the faithful, predictable cows as they headed from the field where they had been observing bovine life. At some signal known only to them, they turned from the spot where they had spent the morning or afternoon and headed toward the barn, to be milked and to be fed. Their path was one of habit and nurture.

Paths. We travel them everyday. Some we travel so often we no longer see the scenery we pass by. I have often driven for several blocks, perhaps even longer, and have no memory of having done so, the path is so familiar to me. Have you ever done this? It’s rather sad in a way to think that those places we know best have nothing left to offer us in the way of surprise.

There are the paths we choose and those that become the detour we never expected or wanted. And yet, there the path is unfolding before us and we have no choice but to take step after step after step until we make some sense of where it is taking us.  I know several people right now who are trying to make sense of the detour that has become their path. May God bless them.

One of my favorite scriptures is from Jeremiah: “Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” The fact of the matter is that sometimes the ancient paths, the good way, can seem quite elusive. Or it can seem as if we are walking a path that continues to turn and turn in ways that create anxiety and fear. Still other times, we can be paralyzed by not being able to choose which way to turn on the path that lies before us. Every now and then we are blessed with an understanding of our path that is so sure, so true, we walk confidently, with assurance, never looking back.

Wherever you are on the path this day, may you find some ancient wisdom that holds you, some goodness that unfolds before you, and some deep rest for your soul.

What’s In a Name?

On Friday, I indulged in some humidity therapy at the Como Conservatory.This has become a yearly winter pilgrimage timed just at the point when the dry skin which results from frigid days becomes unbearable. Friday seemed to be the near tipping point and I had a fairly open day ahead so it seemed a perfect thing to do.

Walking into the domed building and I was immediately hit with a rush of humid air. The sun glasses I had been wearing to protect myself against the glaring sun-off- snow, steamed up with a fog of moisture. I looked at those who were wearing regular glasses as we all stood just inside the doorway in a sort of limbo between sight and blindness. Their faces were bathed in smiles. Smiles of warmth, of heavy, moist air, of being surrounded by things that were alive……and green! We chuckled toward one another as we waited for the fog to melt off lenses.

These expeditions must always begin with a simple act of sitting down. Sitting down so you can allow your body to adjust to the instantaneous but beautiful assault of heavy, wet air and heat. After all, our bodies have been walking around in layers of fleece and wool for months. To all of a sudden walk into a tropical Eden takes some time of gentleness.

After the initial time of acclimation, I walked around allowing the green ferns and plants and the colors and smells of the flowers to wash over me. Entering one of the smaller rooms, I found myself present to the Winter Carnival Orchid Show. The sheer beauty and color of these flowers was nearly overwhelming. But the best part came when I began to read the names of some of the unique varieties.

Staring at one orchid whose petals were larger than many of the others, I noticed its deep red, nearly purple flowerets. At its center was a rich,dark pink. Flecked across the petals themselves were little droplets of earthy yellows. The tag that identified the flower? ‘Fine Wine.’ Well, of course it was. What else could it be?

I noticed some women looking up toward the ceiling at a pot that was suspended above our heads. At first I could not see anything but the slender green stems shooting out of a common terra cotta pot. But as my eyes searched further,they beheld flashy hot pink circles of flower. Just on the edge of gaudy, these cascading blossoms looked like a feather boa falling gently off the neck of a lovely lady. Its name? Crown Fox Diva. Why was I not surprised?

But my personal favorite? Sitting quietly among all the other showy blooms, nestled back in the verdant plumage of all the other marvelous orchids sat Brother Buddha. Smaller more understated faces of brown centers hung gently from light green stems. The brown slowly gave way to a soft, dark pink until it finally emerged into the signature saffron of the robes of Buddhist monks. While not the most eye catching of the orchid show, this plant seemed to know itself and be content with its gentle presence.

As I walked out of the room that housed the collection of the many faceted orchids, I wondered about who named them. Whose job is it to watch these lovely creations and then name them with such accuracy? At that moment,I longed for the privilege of such work. To name something, human or plant, is a great gift. Anyone who has ever looked into the face of a newborn, knowing they have the blessed power to attach syllables that will forever define a person’s life, realizes it is something not to be taken lightly.

What is your name? How did it come to you? What is the story that accompanies your naming? In Genesis the task of naming was given to Adam, an awesome responsibility. From the very beginning of our sacred story, names have been important. Names like yours and mine. Names like Fine Wine and Crown Fox Diva and especially, Brother Buddha.

Hidden Treasure

Several days of every week I have evening meetings. On these days, that may have started early in the morning with other responsibilities, I always try to take a little break around 4:00 to clear my head, get some fresh air and have a little Sabbath time. I often head to a lovely little bakery restaurant in the Uptown area where I hug a cup of coffee and allow the chocolate in one of the best chocolate chip cookies known to humanity melt in my mouth. Yesterday was one of those days that stretched over many hours and so I headed out to engage in this sacramental moment.

It goes without saying that driving and particularly parking your car anywhere these days is a challenge. The snow has now built up so high that most humans need to take on a mountain goat approach to nearly every curb and intersection. Driving, I made my way along the ever narrowing streets and safely maneuvered around corners where snow was piled higher than my car. Safe site lines have now gone the way of the streetcar. I parked with the curb side of the car elevated on ice-impacted snow and toppled out of the car.

Bundled up against the freezing wind, I made my way around to the parking meter. From the sidewalk there was a small path cut into the boulevard by the feet of all those who had gone before me. They must have been small people….unusually small people with equally small feet… because I had to stand with one foot in front of the other as I balanced on the snowbank. I did not feel like a dancer in this ballet like position. My mittened hands now had to reach into my wallet to retrieve the quarters which would feed the meter so I could have the chocolate chip cookie that had become my prize. Fumbling with mitten in one hand, my exposed flesh held two quarters as I balanced like a flamingo. One quarter slid easily into the meter but somehow the balancing or the wind chill caused the second quarter to slide in a free fall from my fingers into the snow below. I watched it fall slowly down as my eyes followed it. Looking at the snow below I saw the slice it had made in the snow. And surrounding it were several other identical slices……quarters that had fallen as others had balanced in the same place……quarters that will lie hidden in the snow until the spring thaw.

I laughed and wanted to tag this meter so some lucky person will know to watch for the treasure that will emerge. As I plugged another quarter in and headed in for my now much deserved treat, I began to think of all the hidden treasures that are waiting to emerge from these winter days. Ruminating over my warm coffee and delicious cookie, I watched the people move by outside, the life of them visible in the breath that surrounded their heads, that blew forth from their red faces. Each is carrying a treasure that is also perhaps hidden. Under the frozen ground all kinds of bulbs and seeds are resting and waiting for the right moment to begin to make their way toward life anew. I observed a couple meeting with a real estate agent as they dreamed of a new home that will no doubt be filled with the treasures of their lives. Sitting near by a young women wrote passionately on her computer. What treasure lies hidden within the words she so furiously meted out?

Most often we think of treasures as monetary. But in the book of Matthew, the teacher Jesus reminds the people that’ where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ What do you treasure? What treasures lie hidden within you that long to be brought out into the light of day? What treasure, if discovered, would make your heart sing? These are good questions to consider on these cold, winter days.

Today may find us balancing in places that don’t feel so comfortable, or at least not very graceful. The winds may be rushing around the doors of life exposing our vulnerabilities. But there are treasures we carry and ones that are just outside our vision that will be revealed……often in their own good time, when the melting is over. Our work is, most often, to practice patience and openness in the waiting.

But for someone with a really good shovel and strong arms, there are quarters to be had beneath a parking meter in Uptown!