About Me

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I work as a teacher, poet and spiritual director at a number of institutions in the DC area. My teaching focuses in various ways on writing, poetry, Spirituality and Christian vocation and ministry - especially from the point of view of the laity. I also offer classes and retreats encouraging people to explore their inner lives, engage their creativity and reflect on their beliefs about God, vocation, and how we can discern and pursue new ways to transform our broken world. I enjoy speaking of faith in the secular academy as well as reminding those preparing for ministry in the Church that our primary purpose is to love and serve the world beyond the church's doors. I love helping people to grow in faith and to find their own voices, and I also love encouraging them to use their minds. I see no contradiction between these impulses, believing as I do that faith, reason and creativity work together.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Long Green Season

also on episcopalcafe but I've revised the poem

Having been on an academic schedule my whole life, I find that when summer comes it has a liturgical feel. For academic professionals, summer is the time when we’re not teaching and meeting -- the time when we are free to do “our own work” of writing and creativity -- for many of us, the work that called us into academe to begin with. Sometimes it’s pressured, but ideally it’s at least in part “fallow time,” with space for contemplation. This year, with Pentecost so late, the feel of the summer season coincides quite well with the church year -- and I am sinking into it happily now, spending the early mornings on my patio, before the heat sets in, finding a little more “butt-in-the-chair” time for writing projects, getting in touch with the places in myself from which the best things come -- perhaps even with what Evelyn Underhill called “that deep place where the soul is at home with God.”

It has been a lush, green summer in Washington so far, and so I find the world around me, on my patio-mornings, in harmony with the green season at church -- the season after Pentecost which used to be called, quite appropriately I think -- “ordinary time” -- the longest season, and perhaps the most instructive, when we’re learning to live more deeply into the faith whose stories we’ve told from Advent through Pentecost.

Here’s a poem that came, one morning on the patio. It reflects how liturgically “right” this “green season” is for me this year. Hoping these words may help some of you also rejoice in the riches of this season.

Here on my patio
This July morning
After drenching, cleansing
Storms in the night,
I rest amid birdsong,
Surrounded in green

Green of the long
growing season
After-Pentecost at church

The season to put out leaves
Take in
Sunlight, nourishment
Put down deep roots
Bear maturing fruit

The long green growing season:
Ordinary time.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Kathleen! This poem takes me out to my patio and into worship space at the same time. Happily, we've had an unusual "green season" in Colorado, too. Joy and blessings to you.