Gathered Wisdom, April 20

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.

In celebration of Earth Day 

A Bird Came Down the Walk 

Emily Dickinson – 1830-1886

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, splashless as they swim.

This poem is in the public domain.

Earth Day 2021 will be celebrated April 20-22.
For more information.

Crisis Kitchen

From Daily Good.

Watch an incredible video about Crisis Kitchen, a mutual aid group that has emerged during the coronavirus pandemic in Portland, Oregon, as a means to help people thrive. It was begun by laid-off restaurant workers. Free, high-quality, delicious meals are prepared and delivered by volunteers, utilizing donated space. This vibrant alternative care economy sends out 1,000 meals per week as an investment in the well being of the whole community, and as “an expression of love that is easily given to people you do not know.”

Watch the video.

Grieving the Trees

by The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas
From Daily Meditations, Center for Action and Contemplation

“I’ve taken to praying outdoors. I go outside, feel the good earth beneath my feet and the wind on my face, and I sing to the trees—to oak and beech, hemlock and pines. Making up the words and music as I go along, I sing my grief to the trees that are going down, and my grief for so much more—for what we have lost and are losing, and for what we are likely to lose.”

Read the meditation.

Exhaling My Prayer Breath

By Westina Matthews
From Shalem Institute

“On January 29th I received my first Pfizer vaccine shot. On February 19th, I received the second shot. Two weeks later, I could finally begin to breathe deeply again. How long had I been holding my prayer breath?”

Read the essay.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow

By Br. Keith Nelson
From Cowley Magazine by Society of St. John the Evangelist

“We know that the familiar adage ends with the cheery adjective ‘fonder.’ To feel the absence of someone we cherish does often deepen our love the longer we are apart. But absence may also make the heart grow numb or inert, grief-stricken or depressed, baffled or enraged. Absence can make the heart grow hopeless.”

Read or listen to the rest of the essay.

Women on their Journey of Finding Purpose and Call

An online book club from Lumunos about women on their journey of finding purpose and call.
Meets via Zoom the first Wednesday of the month from 11am — 12pm ET.
Registration is free. Join anytime!

This meeting of “Women Becoming,” will discuss Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Book of Longings ( In small groups, participants will use the the book as a resource to better understand their own stories. Future readings will also be books about women finding their calling and learning to live their most authentic lives.

For more information.

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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