Gathered Wisdom, Sept 29

A weekly collection of inspiration and resources for the journey, gathered from websites, books, and pass-alongs that have been shared with us. From The Wisdom Years – Spirituality for the Last Third of Our Lives.

I Go Among Trees

I go among trees and sit still. 
All my stirring becomes quiet around me like circles on water. 
My tasks lie in their places where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes and lives a while in my sight. 
What it fears in me leaves me, and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song. 

Then what I am afraid of comes. 
I live for a while in its sight. 
What I fear in it leaves it, and the fear of it leaves me. 
It sings, and I hear its song. 

After days of labor, mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last, and I sing it. 
As we sing, the day turns, the trees move. 

~ Wendell Berry from Sabbaths



By Marthe Curry

Through the years, studies have been done on the effect noise has on stress and fatigue.  As expected, people exposed to higher levels of noise experience more stress and greater fatigue whether in an office or airplane or any other venue with noticeable decibels of noise.  And, if you’re one of those people who has full concerts or speeches or sports events going on in your head 24/7, imagine the stress level and fatigue exposure.

Read the entire essay and see more of Marthe’s posts.

Some Light-Hearted Thoughts on a Very Heavy Subject

By Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Some years ago, a friend of mine was facing the birth of her first child. While happy that she was soon to be a mother, she openly confessed her fears about the actual birth-process, the pain, the dangers, the unknown. But she consoled herself with this thought: Hundreds of millions of women have done this and have somehow managed it. Surely, if so many women have done, and are doing, this – I too can manage it somehow. 

I sometimes take those words and apply them to the prospect of dying. Death is the most daunting, unsettling, and heavy topic there is, for all of us, our occasional false bravado notwithstanding. 

Read the entire essay

FROM the blog of Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Compassion + Resilience: Spiritual Resources for Polarized Time

Online Day Apart Academy 
October 24, 10 am – 6 pm
(Central time)

We live in polarized times. Political and religious divides threaten the bonds of civil discourse that sustain our communities; and tensions around race continue to rise to frighteningly violent proportions. The turbulent storms within us, as well—fear, anxiety, despair, and enraged indignation—wreak havoc within our minds, bodies, and spirits. For spiritual resources that ground us in our sacred source, still the storms within us through self-compassion, and cultivate a world where people of difference can live with one another in a spirit of dignity and mutual understanding, join Frank Rogers, Jr. and Christopher Carter for an Online Academy Day Apart (with plenty of free time, body movement, and  experiential learning).

For more information and to register

FROM The Upper Room Spiritual Formation Academy

Two e-courses from Spirituality and Practice

The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence
with Jan Phillips

October 5 – 30, 2020

This e-course brims over with hope: the energy that sustains a new vision while it moves from the realm of the imagination into the realm of manifest reality. Hope is desire in love with wisdom. It is not a powerless waiting for, but a powerful welcoming of the future we are creating. It is re-orienting to a new star.

Read more and sign up

Embracing Living: The Welcoming Prayer – 2020
from Contemplative Outreach

October 5 – 30, 2020

This gentle method of prayer has a surprisingly vast impact on life, so much so that practitioners say they don’t know how they lived without it. This course is for beginners and anyone who wants a refresher.

Read more and sign up

Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Festival

October 1-29

The fifth annual Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival moves online this year. Presented by Texas Butterfly Ranch, the month-long festival will honor the memories of family, friends and loved ones lost to COVID-19, social injustice, and other causes in 2020.

The Festival unfolds during peak monarch migration season with virtual workshops, teacher training, the delivery of “caterpillar condos” to Title 1 schools, the construction of a Dia de la Memoria/Day of Remembrance altar at Confluence Park in San Antonio, and the release of monarch butterflies tagged in the names of those lost during this unique and challenging year.

Find all Festival events here.

FROM Texas Butterfly Ranch

If you have something to add to Gathered Wisdom, send it to Marjorie George at

 Gathered Wisdom is from The Wisdom Years, a ministry that invites older adults to deepening spirituality in the last third of their lives. If someone forwarded this to you, learn more about The Wisdom Years and subscribe to the site at

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