Last week I was at an Icon Writing retreat at the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Center, at St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, Michigan. The days were long and at times physically demanding, and I was grateful that the facility had accommodated me with an adjustable chair and angled stand for my work station. The experience of writing an Icon was layered, much like the paint, with prayer. I, and several other participants, walked the grounds while waiting for paint to dry.
The image you see at left is what was produced: Jesus, the Sorrowing Christ; the lettering around the halo says I AM who AM; the Greek letters at the top are the contractions for Jesus and Christ.
Today I gifted the icon to two dear friends, Monetta and Jerry Harr. Yep…they like it.
And here is the group…I’m the third from right, almost in front of the two instructors (little white haired lady, Dianne, and very tall guy, Dave, in the back row).
The fragrance this morning from the small upper meadow was amazing!
One of the volunteers snagged the camera and caught me coming back from checking on the Ratibida columnifera that was introduced two summers ago (its the tall yellow prairie coneflower).
Why yes, I am wearing my favorite gardening t-shirt from Elizabeth…
(Images courtesy of Anne Davich, Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.)
The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. ~John Southard
This quote came by way of a friend, Terry Feuka. She is the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Resource Center Program Director and Media Specialist at St. Francis Retreat Center…and the best reference/library person ever! I’ve thrown her some pretty obscure requests over the years and she always comes through with the materials. Check out SPE at the link above, and visit the resource center when you come to the Catholic Writers Guild writers’ retreat in October, 2013.
(Why Equus Passage)
The Northern Catalpa, sometimes called a Catawba tree, is primarily used today as a large ornamental shade tree–lovely flowers too!
Settlers planted Catalpa to produce fence posts…the wood is lightweight, and the heartwood is resistant to deterioration when placed in the ground. For these same reasons, railroad companies grew plantations of them for railroad ties and fuel.
Me? I just like to sit under ’em and have a talk with Our Lord.
(All images Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All Rights Reserved.
This winter-hardy cactus is Opuntia, sometimes called prickly pear cactus. Its fruits and paddles are edible!
Late summer fruit, Opuntia pears
And the man that keeps the 95 acres growing (and the garden society’s resident hero)!
All Images by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB. All rights reserved.
Groundskeeper, Tim Simon
St. Francis Retreat Center