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When I was little, my father would say my prayers with me every night. He would start, with “Now I lay me down to sleep…”, that familiar prayer that was a staple of so many childhoods. But he altered the words “If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.” I suspect he found it to be an unthinkable thought, and didn’t want us to think it as we went to sleep. Our version was “All through the night, may angels spread protecting wings above my bed.” I still find that prayer a comfort, along with the spontaneous ones I now have as an adult.

Our world needs many prayers these days. Tonight, I am sending special prayers to the people in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. 53,000 people have been evacuated from that city due to an explosive wildfire. The fire has moved into the city. Whole neighborhoods have been destroyed. There is no more gas in the city. People are running out of gas and getting stuck in traffic, or by the side of the road, as flames move ever closer.

May I say, as I listen to radio coverage from Edmonton, and phone interviews with high school seniors, fire chiefs, and other citizens, that everyone sounds so calm and polite and well-spoken and pragmatic that it just makes me want to hug them all. Or go be a Canadian.

We in Colorado, particularly those  in the Colorado Springs area, went through a similar disaster a few years ago. I remember watching live coverage on the news, and truly, it looked like my vision of  hell. The earth and the people still hold the scars. Here, we pray for enough snowpack to help prevent wildfires, but not so much as to cause floods such as the devastating one we experienced in 2013.

So tonight, and tomorrow, and likely the next day, please join me in saying a prayer for the people of Fort McMurray and the brave firefighters and first responders who risk their lives to help keep others’ lives intact. And if you’re otherwise inclined, a little rain dance wouldn’t hurt.

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Iglesia de San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico.

Quote of the day: “The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.”   — Lemony Snicket

Daily gratitudes:
MKL’s eyes
A beautiful day
How green can fill my eyes
One working lawnmower in the family
The toddler playing in the dancing waters with her golden retriever trying to bite the streams

 

There are so many people for whom I say a little prayer in my heart daily – Lea G. as she fights the good fight against breast cancer, Megan Bouge and her family as she struggles on this anniversary of the day she lost her Wyncie, for my sweet co-worker whose father is facing a bone marrow transplant. For Colonel’s Mom. For all those people and animals suffering from the long cold of this winter.

When I was on Anguilla, shortly after my mother died, I went for a drive to explore the island, and found a little cemetery atop a hill overlooking the sea, and across the street was a little whitewashed church. It’s blue shuttered windows were wide open to the soft ocean breezes, and lovely lilting voices raised in a gospel hymn were floating on the air.

This is not that church, but it seems that the spiritual practices of so many islands are housed in similar places of worship, like this one on Little Exuma.  In fact, the Exumas had many little churches, which speaks to the strong faith of the islanders. I know that for me personally, anywhere beneath the blue sky is an excellent place for me to send prayers up to heaven.

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Little Exuma.

Quote of the day: “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” — Henry David Thoreau

Daily gratitudes:
A day with my daughter
Beach dreams
Charley the elephant
Having heat
Warm drinks on white cold days

AND, OF COURSE, GO BRONCOS!!!!!

The blue moon – one definition of which is having two full moons in one calendar month – happens tonight, and won’t happen again until July 31, 2015.  While I will be somewhere tonight watching the moon, I liked the warm-up show that it provided last night on Broadway near the Gothic Theatre.

Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”  ~Buddha

Daily gratitudes:
My super-sparkly disco earrings
A full tank of gas
Giving hope and two dollars to a homeless man this morning
Road trip with Kelsea starting this afternoon
Music nights with MKL

Island churches have a little simple magic all their own. While I didn’t get to see this church is operation, I did hear the congregation of another church on Anguilla sing their hearts out through the open windows overlooking the turquoise sea on a Sunday morning.

Island Harbour, Anguilla.

Quote of the day: “In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix must first burn.”  —  Octavia E. Butler

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
A much more reasonable plumbing repair quote
Loco Moco from the 20th Street Cafe
Opera tonight
That Kelsea called me when she heard “our song” on the radio today

Photo title: Light of My Life

Rapid City, South Dakota.

Quote of the day: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  —  Theodore Roosevelt

Daily gratitudes:
The white dog playing with the coyote on my way home yesterday.
This morning’s light.
Changing leaves.
Pink grapefruit.
Renewed determination.

Photo title: Thank You

Elvis’ first church, Tupelo, Mississippi.

Quote of the day: “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”  —  Brene Brown

Daily gratitudes
Silent movies
Morning skies
Dreams
My passport
Looking forward to what might happen in a day
My clawfoot tub

Photo Title: Church Light

Inside an old church on the grounds of the Wyoming Territorial Prison, Laramie, Wyoming.

Quote of the day: “There are the waves and there is the wind, seen and unseen forces.  Everyone has these same elements in their lives, the seen and unseen, karma and free will.”  —  Kuan Yin

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