Gathered Wisdom, May 4

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.

Be The Change

Walk into nature in any of its forms today, and as you look and listen and receive the impression, also notice within yourself its effect on you. Is there some simple way you can return to nature its great gift to us, by planting or weeding or caring for an animal?

From Daily Good, May 4, 2021

Nature, Joy, and Human Becoming

An “On Being” interview with naturalist Michael McCarthy and Krista Tippett

“The sudden passionate happiness which the natural world can occasionally trigger in us may well be the most serious business of all,” Michael McCarthy writes. He is a naturalist and journalist with a galvanizing call — that we stop relying on the immobilizing language of statistics and take up our joy in nature as our defense of it. And he reminds us that the natural world is where we first found our metaphors and similes and it is the resting place for our psyches.”

Listen to the interview.


By Monica Mxon
From Shalem

“Several years ago, I planned a road trip with a good friend to visit her son, my godson, during spring break. However, as it turned out, we weren’t going to Idaho but to Iowa and also, as it turned out, my godson had come East and went back with us. He was the designated driver for most of the way, gamely playing 60s music, listening to our Swedish mystery on tape and laughing at my story about thinking I was heading to Idaho.

“That’s when he taught me a new word, ‘coddiwomple,’ which I loved immediately though I couldn’t quite believe it was real.”

Read the essay.

Do the Next Thing

By Fred Smith
From The Gathering

“Last week a friend was sorting through an issue that affects all of us at one time or another. She has a fine career and was suddenly sideswiped by a loss of confidence. It was not depression as much as a deflation. She had lost her sense of hope and belief in her own skills. All she could see was being stuck and immobilized – or worse. It’s often called the ‘imposter syndrome’ or the fear of being found out as not being as competent as everyone thought.”

Read or listen to the essay.

Our Most Common Sin

By Ron Rolheiser

“I venture to say that most of us operate, however unconsciously, out of anger and this shows itself in our constant criticism of others, in our cynicism, in our jealousy of others, in our bitterness, and in our inability to praise others. And unlike most of our other sins, anger is easy to camouflage and rationalize as virtue.”

Read the essay.

The Many Parts of Ourselves

A book recommendation from Joanna Seibert.

“Those parts of ourselves that block us from the Spirit can also be pathways back to an even richer relationship to the God or Spirit within us. Christians would tell us that the life of Mary Magdalene is our scriptural example. Whatever her seven demons were, they led her to Christ and a new relationship with God and a new life. The recovery community would say that the recovering alcoholic or addict is led back to the God of his understanding in his journey to recovery. The Jungians would tell us that a recognition of the shadow or unloved or unaccepted part of us can become our hidden treasure or gold.”

Read Joanna’s essay.

Love. Period.

A new podcast with Jacqui Lewis
From Center for Action and Contemplation

“How do we stand in love and faith in the midst of injustice? Starting early May, join Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis for Love. Period., a new podcast that advocates a fresh view of spirituality—a grown-up, inter-religious, universal view that speaks across race, gender, sexuality and generations. In conversation with special guests like CAC friends Rev. Dr. William Barber, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams, Jacqui invites us to experience faith as the practice of fierce love that heals the soul and the world.”

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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