Our children

As the weeks of coronavirus isolation roll on, my heart goes out to the children who long to run and shout across playing fields and school playgrounds, picking up once again the friendships and negotiations that help them negotiate their growing years. Grandparents like myself feel powerless to come to the aid of their working- and- educating- from-home parents – our children. I hope Maggie Smith’s words can help.


Good Bones
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

(Maggie Smith)

Follow up Maggie’s words with this joyful slice of sound.

God be with you,

Judith      (judith@judithscully.com.au)

Prayer ties

Last week Krista Tippet (On Being) was asked this question: “How can I find my footing in a shifting world?” Boy and stick
I fastened on to the word footing – very appropriate for someone my age and the area where I live- the ground beneath my feet is uneven, rocky and hard, my feet are troublesome and the distancing segment of my bi-focals unsettles my gait.

It’s an excellent image of my confined-to –home days and weeks. And I know that I have it easy. I’m not working from home and/or taking responsibility for the education of one or more children like many other are. I’m not rich but I’m financially secure.

Even so, my world is imperceptibly shifting. What does this shift hold for me, post coronavirus ? Will it mean changes in the way I live or think or pray? Right now, I don’t know. Like the women at the tomb I wait for the stone to be rolled away and reveal the Easter presence of God – whenever that might be.

How will you find your footing in a shifting world?

Prayer Ties
People in almost every faith tradition across the world have ways of hanging simple objects as expressions of prayer, sending forth love, courage and healing into the world. The Lakota and Cherokee people of American use prayer ties (tobacco or cornmeal wrapped in cloth) as offerings of prayers, intentions, and gratitude, tying them to trees or leaving them in sacred places. In Ireland, Scotland and Wales people tie strips of imagescoloured cloth called ‘clooties,’ to ask for blessings. Buddhist prayer flags hold prayers blown by the wind to promote peace, compassion and wisdom.
You, or your children or grandchildren, may like to make your own version of prayer ties. They can be tied to a favourite tree or bush, maybe even a fence or a basketball post.

To make prayer ties:
 Cut cloth into small squares about the size of a small handkerchief.
 Place a prayer of gratitude, healing or strength for those suffering in center of cloth.

Take string, yarn or strips of cloth to tie into a bundle.
 Attach the prayer bundles to a tree or a special place outdoors
 Visit this place with prayer and gratitude often.

A prayer for now
Things just now are both fast and slow God, but sometimes I see notice so little of it. Create in me a desire to pause. Help me to become more aware of what speaks to me of beauty and truth.
All my ordinary moments are means of entering into a more significant relationship with you, God.
In the midst of these very common openings, you are ready to speak to me, if only I will recognise your presence.
Teach me to enjoy the present moment. May I be more fully aware of what I see, taste, touch, hear and smell. Sharpen my perception of the everyday treasures that surround me.
Transform my everyday with the radiance of your peace, so that with Peter, James and John I can say, “Lord, it is good to be here.”

                    Judith  (judith@judithscully.com.au)