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Welcome to my blog, a quasi-weekly column on topics and issues that have my attention, or that are intended to inform or inspire--including the following reminder:

"Realize why you're here, and be about it!"

What I believe

Does God answer prayers? Does the universe respond to our requests? Do we, as individuals, have the right/power/ability to influence the collective whole?

I’ve previously posted my vision statement advocating “a world that works for all of us.” But a late-night conversation with my brother, in which we each tried to clarify our beliefs regarding prayer, forced me to consider more precisely what it is that I believe about the universe and humanity’s place in it—as individuals and as a collective.

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Kids make great teachers

In choosing to return to my Ojai life and my own spiritual authority, it helps to find spiritual instruction in the circumstances of daily life. Fortunately, my seven-year-old niece and nephews give me plenty of “grist for the mill.” Now that they’ve moved in with their Mom to their new house in Summerland, my practice has slacked off a bit—which is what gives me time to write these blogs. But when they are with me, I find that the kids are masters at keeping me in “the now.” If I lose focus and wander off elsewhere—even in my mind—they’ll skillfully draw my attention back to the present by knocking each other’s teeth out (“It was an accident!”), reprogramming the DVD player, or putting the garden hose through the mail slot.

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More adventures with quadruplets

One day last week I had exciting information to share with the quadruplets: the gardener had found a cache of chicken eggs hidden deep in the gladiolas. Obviously our chickens had been laying a couple of decoy eggs in the chicken coop each day, but hiding the rest in a spot where we wouldn't find--and thus, couldn't harvest--them.  The children were impressed.

"Those chickens are smart!" Lukey said.  "Whoever thinks chickens are dumb doesn't know chickens!"

"They're trying to make babies!" Barrett exclaimed. "I told you, you should get a rooster!  You can't make babies with two hens.  You need the Daddy seed."

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Life with quadruplets

The three weeks I've been back from the Methow have been filled to overflowing with the care and enjoyment of my niece and nephews--my sister's seven-year-old quadruplets. I made it back in time to spend the last week of summer vacation with them and the first two  weeks at their new school--Summerland Elementary, home of The Waves.

Despite the minor travails of transition--Mom back in Yuma packing; Nana and Auntie in dubious charge; a new school with new teachers, new rules, and unknown expectations--the time has been delightful...and instructive.  Children make excellent spiritual teachers, when one can find the time and sanity to contemplate the lessons.  In the meantime, we've all been kept in stitches at the light-hearted chaos and droll commentary. 

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