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Trees are sanctuaries...
they do not preach learning and precepts,
they preach, undeterred by particulars,
the ancient law of life.

-Hermann Hesse

August 19, 2019                      

By mid-August, the "dog days of summer" are already behind us, the hottest, muggiest days named by the ancient Romans for the rising of Sirius, also known as the dog star. But there's still time to escape the warmth of summer in the shade of a welcoming tree. This month Katie stops to marvel at one of the oldest living things on earth and what they can teach us in living our own lives.

Here's to chasing - and finding - miracles with all of you. 

Joan, Katie and Meb       

          On a recent trip to CA we went for a walk with friends in the nearby woods. Even though the temperature was in the nineties, the walk was entirely in shade and in some spots you could still feel the refreshing comfort of morning cool from a few hours before. Our friend mentioned something called forest bathing, which I had never heard of, and which consists of a romp in the woods or forest concentrating all your senses on the trees. Known as shinrin-yoku in Japan, there is no hiking or photography or talking allowed. Just being. Listening to the trees rustling in the wind or watching the sunlight dapple on the path as it filters through the leaves, keeping all your senses on high alert, even your 6th sense, your state of mind. I'm glad we weren't officially tree bathing on this particular day because I did snap a photo that caught a heart at the top of the canopy.

          Trees, some living for thousands of years, do possess a certain ancient wisdom to pass along if we but listen and see, breathe and touch and be. They mark time and bear witness, survive calamity, resilient and faithful in their ability to go on. No two silhouettes, branches or leaves are alike providing us a new experience with each encounter. Shinrin-yoku teaches us to be stewards of nature with the patience to allow the details to unfold. In return, we receive an appreciation for the bounty that surrounds us, and the solitude to be aware and in the moment.

          Trees have been an important symbol at the center of history, literature and spirituality throughout the ages. Buddha became enlightened under the shade of a Bodhi tree and the Tree of Life from Genesis conferred eternal life, much to the chagrin of the exiled and fallen Adam and Eve. In more modern times, Anne Frank kept track of the seasons through the one uncovered window in the attic and dreamed of life outside by the watch of a horse chestnut tree. Inspired by her tree, she wrote, "The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God." To that end, there is a beautiful pear tree at the 9/11 Memorial, the "survivor tree", initially scarred, burned and pulled from the rubble that was nursed back to health, and now stands for hope and rebirth.

          As the summer winds down and before the leaves begin to fall, take a moment to look  up at a nearby canopy, or sit in the shade of a wise old tree. As Hermann Hess wrote, "...a tree has something to say to us:  Be still! Be still! Look at me!" And allow yourself to ponder. (Katie)


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Upcoming Events

We are scheduling events for 2019 and 2020. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for venues or events where we can continue the miracle discussion.

Thank you to the
Church of St. Francis Xavier
Manhattan, NY and to a  spectacular book club in Pebble
Beach for hosting wonderful
miracle discussions.

and Skype are
wonderful ways to share
conversation and connect
over miracles. Thank you to the
book clubs around the country
who have invited us into their
homes and their lives. It has
transformed and rewarded all
of us. Please let us know if you
would like us to virtually visit
your book group or club!

Thank you to Mysterious Ways for the Facebook Live Interview
with Katie 

Thank you to Miracle Hunter, Michael O'Neill on Relevant Radio for his interview with Katie on The Miracle Chase (go to minute 8:30.)
Thank you to the Ministry of Mothers at St. Gregory the Great in San Diego,
St. Mary's Women's Council,
Santa Clara University Alumni &
Georgetown University Alumni
for wonderful Miracle Discussions

Listen to the first of our
radio series with Kristin Ace
Where Human-ness
meets Spirituality

and the follow-up session describing the numerous ripples
that occur when miracles meet generosity of spirit.

Thank you to the Portland Book Review

and the PrayersWork blog

for featuring The Miracle Chase
with such inspirational reviews.

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Thank you for asking your local library and book store
to carry The Miracle Chase...

Joan, Katie and Meb
co-authors of The Miracle Chase
It's About Faith
"While the Wise Guys spent too much time trying to define, prove, or disprove miracles, we wise women simply appreciated them enough to want to pass them along." The Miracle Chase


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