Friday, June 26, 2020

Fridays with Starry Meadows 6.26.2020

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Brock Creek Meadow at sunset

"Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise."      ~George Washington Carver

     Or in this case, the creek meadow before sunset. 

Oregon View Farm, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
September 28, 2009

Starry Meadows Farm, Rockingham County, Virginia June 15, 2020

I could say so many things about these two photos, like...
...I marvel over Heavenly Blue Morning Glories
...there is a difference between Lancaster County Pennsylvania soil and Rockingham County Virginia soil.
...I've learned the wisdom of not trying to duplicate what I loved in one area to embrace what is lovely in my new area.
....I'm still working on embracing what is presenting in life, while letting go of how I want things to be. (this is a statement about my personal attitudes towards things I can't control in my life - not a statement about status quo and social justice)
... this reminds me of the difference between the haves and the have-nots.
....also reminds me of the difference between having privilege as a white person and BIPOC not having the same privileges due to unjust cultural systems.

I won't expound on any of these subjects but simply invite you to meditate on these photos and see what arises from your depths. (visio divina) -…/


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Photo: Doe in Morning by Stephanie Landis

As a hart longs for flowing streams,
so longs my soul for you, O Beloved.
~Nan Merrill in Psalms for Praying


Photo: The swing down by the creek where I sit when I need to rest and restore

The lyrics to this song are based on some of the writings of 
St John of the Cross....

O living flame of love, that tenderly wounds my soul.
Burn through the veil of earth and heaven, till I am one with you.
O Let me blaze with fire, let spirit fill each part.
Come light the caverns of my soul, illuminate my night.
May my life burn bright, with a holy light.
May my soul burn like a candle.
How gentle and how sweet, you wake within my heart.
And breathe in me the breath of life, and fill my soul with love.
May my life burn bright, with a holy light.
May my soul burn like a candle.
O Living flame of love, that tenderly wounds my soul.
Burn through the veil of earth and heaven, till I am one with you.

The Center for Christian Spirituality wrote and used this as 
part of their Pentecost service set to lovely music.

Photo: Pano shot of the Shooting Star Wildflower Garden at Starry Meadows

Friends, my soul needs a Facebook sabbath. (Thus, no more "Fridays with Starry Meadows" on this blog for a while.) Since the pandemic, wifi coverage in the country has been a challenge. Coverage is spotty, plus I get kicked off the web so often that it takes too long to do simple things online. Until this changes, and until I'm ready to reenter FB land, I am signing off.

I may keep posting photos and quick quotes on Instagram if you want to follow me there. I have
 two public accounts:

1. starrymeadows_
Farm, farm events, nature, birds, flowers, mixed with writings and/or quotes of ecology, inspiration, spiritual companioning, contemplative spirituality...Interfaith or no faith readers equally welcome.

2. sharonclymerlandis
My author's account. Promotes writers, encourages writing, my own work and the work of other authors, including reviews of books for children. Also posts updates from my blog: "Color My Soul."

Until I return, be well, my friends. I'll leave you with these two blessings....

May you be filled with lovingkindness.
May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.
May you be well in body and mind.
May you be at ease and happy.


If life sends you down a stony path,
May God give you strong shoes!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Friday with Starry Meadows 6.19.2020

 "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

                ~ William Shakespeare

We are enjoying watching a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers fill their beaks with suet and fly to Meditation Path woods to feed their chicks. The nest is inside a hole in a dead tree. We watch the bird family as we walk the path and pray for our own families with their various concerns, hold all we love in our hearts, pray for the country and the world. Parents all over the world care for their families - no matter the nationality, race, religion, hair, fur, skin, or feather. We all need nutritious food, clean water and air, shelter and a safe place to nest on this earth.

Photo: Red-headed Woodpecker parent at our feeder

#natureiskin #birds #redheadedwoodpecker #sacred

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Mt Laurel

Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.
            ~Gretel Ehrlick

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 Goatsbeard blooming in the Meditation Path at Starry Meadows
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” 
                                                                                                         -Anne Frank

"Every creature is a glittering, glistening mirror of Divinity.”
~ Hildegard of Bingen

I loved studying Hildegard of Bingen, mystic, writer, composer, prophet, and saint. Her music is performed today and her spiritual works are read as examples of a feminine interpretation of church and spiritual ideas. Her numerous writings included the lives of saints; two treatises on medicine and natural history, reflecting the quality of scientific observation rare at that period. What a woman!

Photo: White-tailed deer fawn hiding in the grasses along the Meditation Path at Starry Meadows. Photo by Jay Landis.

#natureiskin #sainthildegard #earthourhome #fawn #spiritualecology #ecospirituality #sacred

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, text that says 'BE THE NEIGHBOR MR. ROGERS WOULD WANT YOU TO BE'

What gives me hope is that life unfailingly responds to the advances of love. ~Nipun Mehta

#sacred #humanity #natureiskin #mrrogers #earthisourhome

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Fridays with Starry Meadows 6.12.2020

Bowman Root Wildflower

June 8, 2020
“When the absence of mercy is witnessed in society, we've hit bottom." —Caroline Myss

“But I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright …” —Sarah Grimk√©, quoted in Ceplair, Public Years, 208

We’ve hit bottom so many times in our society. Slaughtering indigenous people for white settlement, slavery, unjust convictions, and the death penalty for innocents. Dismantling environmental protections for state parks, birds, plus dangerous forestry and mining practices.
I find hope in the worldwide protests against police brutality happening now. And in organizations like Kiva, Equal Justice Initiative, Mennonite Central Community, Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery,
Mothers of the Nations: Indigenous Mothering as Global Resistance, Reclaiming and Recovery, National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, and many more. Please list other organizations for peace, justice, food, and equality for all, sustainable and environmental living... in the comments.
I find hope in individuals who are willing to look inside themselves and begin seeing the complacency that exists there. I’m seeing more honesty, humility, and integrity in friends and influencers which helps balance the hate, denial, and selfishness that are also evident.
None of us can do it all, or do it perfectly, but we can do better; we can support or join causes, we can hold each other accountable. Our brothers and sisters and our earth need us to do our part, however small.

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April 2020 full moon

June 9, 2020
“Escape from the black cloud
that surrounds you.
Then you will see your own light
as radiant as the full moon.”
― Rumi

Last week was a full moon. June's moon is called Strawberry Moon. Due to all that happened last week, I missed this. While I was aware that the moon was in its waxing gibbous phase, I didn't purposely keep track and go out to gaze at the night sky when the moon was full. This is the first time in years that I've neglected doing so, which is another reminder of the tumultuous times we are living in.

May we pause to center ourselves during this time, stand in the holy light of Love, and when refreshed reach out a help another find their light and radiance.

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June 10, 2020This photo is from my sheltered, cozy back porch, a table between two chairs, where I can meet people for spiritual direction during this time of social distancing. Outside for safety, and bodily apart, our souls still easily connect as deeply as before. (We could even sit by the wildflower patch or in the woods for maximum connection with nature while we talk!)

We are living in difficult, yet exciting times. Change is happening. Often there is a period of chaos before positive change. Inner chaos can go along with outer chaos. Even if we are creating positive change, we can still feel anxious. Much is being asked of us. How do we bring our truest, deepest selves to the world, right now, even as events are unfolding? How can we stay present and centered?

While I am not a counselor or therapist, I am trained in spiritual direction. I would be happy to companion you in this time. You might wonder what is spiritual direction. he following explanation is taken from Spiritual Directors International (

What is a Spiritual Companion/ Spiritual Director?
~Spiritual companions support people on their spiritual journeys through life.
~Spiritual companions are welcoming and present with those they companion, listening and responding without being judgmental.
~Spiritual companions are contemplative and honor silence as a spiritual practice.
~Spiritual companions recognize the agency of the people they companion.
~Spiritual companions are intuitive spiritual friends — accountable and compassionate, hospitable and open, loving yet independent.

Spiritual direction or companionship inspires people to experience authenticity in their lives as they connect with and explore the ground of all being, that deepest of truths which is beyond life and death and goes by many names, including God, and no name at all.

Message me if you are interested or have questions.

Do you wonder if the Spirit is present in your life? Do you desire spiritual growth, deeper connection, or want to explore contemplation prayer practices? Do you want to get to know your deepest, truest self? (Trust me, it is beautiful! - My favorite prayer is from Macrina Wiederkehr: "Help me know the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it is!" )

Anyone who comes to me for spiritual direction may stroll the meadows and woods for an hour before or after our session. We have a meditation path in the woods, with wildflowers, swing, birds and butterflies. Also a swing by the creek in the meadow next to our Shooting Star Wildflower Garden.

Send me a message if you are interested!

Fridays with Starry Meadows 6.5.2020

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Night Sky Petunias are perfect in a pot along the gates of Starry Meadows Farm

June 3, 2020

My heart is heavy for my black family and friends, for our country. I lament deeply the injustice, systemic racism, the militarization of police. I examine myself. I am open to see my white privilege, where my own biases show up, and and what I can do to change things. I want to promote black businesses, entrepreneurs, artists and authors, but mostly, I want to be quiet and listen to what my black brothers and sisters have to say. I don't expect black people to help me; they are exhausted with the load they carry. I will do my own inner work, my own research and education on racism. That said, Austin Channing Brown is offering to educate us on racism. If you have no idea what to do or how to go forward, start by following her.
When things get too heavy, I go outside and take comfort in nature, the fawns hiding in our meadows, the Red-headed Woodpeckers tending their eggs in a hollow of a tree, and the flowers brightening my gardens and woods.

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Violet Wood Sorrel

Wildflowers discovered while out on the farm - finding new flowers that nature planted is a special delight! 

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For two days the farmer and I deadheaded grass in the wildflower plot. There was a lot of grass competing with flowering plants there. And, every time I grabbed a seed head it released a puff of pollen. The puffs were amazing! I remember waving my arms over grasses as a child just to marvel over the pollen clouds. I didn't know the clouds were pollen; I thought the grasses were magic! My sinuses are not as thrilled as I am over pollen though.
Why do we bother doing all that extra work? I don't know, maybe because we dream of the time that our state will be fully open and visitors can come to share in the wonder of our flowering meadow. Maybe because we're a little OCD. Maybe because we just like to tend natural things. I peek into bluebird boxes with the same wonder that I experience seeing bursts of grass pollen flash and settle over the meadow.
What have you marveled over this week?
Photo: Shooting Star Wildflower Garden. Baby Blue Eyes and Five Spots are almost over, a few Crimson Clover blossoms are visible as main plants are almost ready to burst into bloom.

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Strawberry Spinach in my garden. Gardening gives me something to focus on when times are difficult.

June 4, 2020
This memory came up on my personal timeline 4 years ago. While I am not at the same place, and have adjusted quite well to our move here, I often think of the book that I wrote about in this post. I may pull it off my shelf and read it again. It feels like our society is collapsing. There can be good in collapse, at least I sure hope we are witnessing the beginning of the real collapse of systematic racism. There is so much to remain present and conscious to as we navigate these uncharted waters, but for now, I will stop writing and simply offer this bit of past writing....
(June 2, 2016)
Reading the book Collapsing Consciously -Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times. An interesting concept in the book is how humans often long for things to remain the same, or go back to times we've felt happy, rather than seeking resilience and creativity during challenges. Goes on to describe how we'll need such during the challenges of climate change and economic collapse.
All of this speaks to me right now. Since our move 3 months ago, Jay and I have adjusted to many things. Leaving our birthplaces, the Landis family farm of almost 200yrs, children and grandchildren, retiring from crop farming, leaving old communities and health care professionals, plus being in each other's space most of the time. I didn't realize the latter would be such an adjustment.  All of it has been both exhilarating and heartbreaking.
In my lesser moments, I wallowed in wishing things could go back to the way they were. I also knew I could hold all of this, even allow myself to regress or be frustrated, without too much judgment - hold it all while practicing deep gratitude - mentally, if not felt. In between frustrations then, a joy deeper than happiness rises in me, at the sight of rolling hills, the smell of freshly picked strawberries, wildflowers, a strong sense of love from family and friends. Joy despite the sorrow of saying goodbye to my family after a lovely holiday together, the awful gorilla/child incident and subsequent FB rants, superbugs, UCLA shootings, trafficking, politics, TICKS on our property and really mourning the loss of my former, beautifully remodeled kitchen.
One of my favorite quotes from the book mentioned above is this: ".... this grim description outlines several kinds of behaviors and emotional states we might expect to see among the psycho-spiritually unprepared as collapse intensifies. And we can be certain they will not be assuaged by massive caches of food, weapons, or an extensive library of books in an underground bunker."
So, I invite you, while reminding myself, to tend your self-awareness. Allow yourself to feel what you feel without so many 'shoulds' and judgments. Build your internal resources, practice self-soothing, deep listening, and truth-telling with friends and family, journal, have ongoing daily stillness and prayer practices that provide grounding and centering in the midst of chaos. Build community, learn many skills, protect the earth, know your neighbors, help each other, be kind. Prep if you must, but don't forget to tend your internal resources, and your communities too.

June 5, 2020
"Nobody's free until everybody's free." Fannie Lou Hamer
Photo: Altar at my church, June 3, 2019. The above quote was from our bulletin.
No photo description available.

We spent three hours tending the wildflower garden this morning. Weeding, planting, sowing more seeds in bare spots. Our work was graced by a Red-headed Woodpecker preening on a nearby fence, and a pair of tree swallows building a nest in a cedar box at the garden's entrance. On the opposite side, a bluebird male sat atop his nest with a female hopefully sitting on 5 eggs inside. We also watched a doe leave the hollow along our lane, where her fawn lies hidden. She hesitates, watching us; we are friends to fawns not foes but she is naturally cautious. And the butterflies, ah the butterflies...

June 6, 2020
We spent three hours tending the wildflower garden this morning. Weeding, planting, sowing more seeds in bare spots. Our work was graced by a Red-headed Woodpecker preening on a nearby fence, and a pair of tree swallows building a nest in a cedar box at the garden's entrance. On the opposite side, a bluebird male sat atop his nest with a female hopefully sitting on 5 eggs inside. We also watched a doe leave the hollow along our lane, where her fawn lies hidden. She hesitates, watching us; we are friends to fawns not foes but she is naturally cautious. And the butterflies, ah the butterflies...
                                                                        Photo: Penstemonblooming 
near our house. (wildflower pics coming. I had my actual camera this morning, not my iPhone, but the camera battery was dead! I sure enjoy nature with or without a camera to document it!                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Pics of the wildflower garden as promised!                                                                                                                                                 Image may contain: plant, flower, grass, tree, outdoor and nature



Pics of the wildflower garden as promised

Saturday, May 30, 2020