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Epiphany and Journeyroad

Jan 6th, 2010 by Mary | 1

It has been months since Sheryl and I took possession of our “dream home” in Glenwood, Iowa. I had intended to start a blog much sooner, but the logistics, the emotional and financial demands of our move from the bay area in California, were exhausting and stressful almost beyond words. It took everything we had to uproot ourselves on such short notice (discovered our “dream home” online on August 6 and took possession on Sept. 30) and to “follow our star” to this new home, the physical incarnation of Journeyroad, which had only existed in my heart for a number of years.

Today is the feast of the Epiphany, the twelfth day after Christmas, long celebrated by Orthodox Christians as the culmination of the Advent/Christmas season. It is the feast of the magi, where, in Matthew’s gospel, wise men from the east came to do obeisance to the newborn Jesus. They followed a star to take them across deserts and mountains from a faraway land to come from the east.

We followed our inner star to take us from the west to come here to open a retreat center. We have been buying furniture, discussing color schemes, working on brochures, meditating, praying, dreaming. . . as our vision takes root outside a small town.

Today we are snowed in, as our white world, with the bar trees showing the intimate secrets of their innermost branches, get yet another dusting of snow. Rabbit tracks cross-stitch the foot-deep snow, deer tracks on the rise between us and our nearly invisible neighbor to the north. A lone rabbit spent much of the evening on our front porch, before my tossed carrot sent him scurrying into the underbrush. Today the carrot is gone and the porch is filled with birds: northern cardinals, juncos, house sparrows, chickadees, woody and downy woodpeckers. The lone cardinal that greeted me in October has now morphed into two bright red males and four more demure females.

Later today I will make clam chowder from scratch and cuddle up on the couch with our cat and four dogs (and an extra visitor who is snowed in with us), Sheryl, her daughter, Janet, who is also snowed in, and watch an old movie on TV.

James Joyce wrote a lot about epiphanies. They are not just for today, the feast of the epiphany. He wrote that the epiphany was the sudden “revelation of the whatness of a thing,” the moment when “the soul of the commonest object … seems to us radiant.”

Tomorrow, or the day after, we will be back “on task,” making more preparations for the opening of the first stage of our retreat center this spring, but today, here, two miles south of the small town of Glenwood (pop. around 5,000, the county seat,) I truly know that all the common objects I am surrounded with — the bare oak tree outside my writing window, the carrot on the porch waiting for the justifiably timid rabbit, the birds flitting about and rubbing ecumenical wings in a shared feeder, each unique flake of snow, none like the other, is all radiant, filled with the essence of God.

Peace from Journeyroad.


One Comment on “Epiphany and Journeyroad”

  1. Linda Machesic said:

    This is a first – me doing a blog and leaving a comment!!!!! The earth shakes under my feet as hell surely freezes over!!!!!! Sister, friend, I am immersed in literature these days and your entry above rates right there among the very best. Do a book, Mary. Otherwise, I’m going to have to come out there and kick your butt!!!! Scarey right?

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