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Stand still.
The trees ahead and bush beside you
are not lost. 

-Albert Einstein

June 20, 2013                        

As we begin the summer season, we are conditioned from childhood to talk about taking a break, perhaps a vacation, a change in scenery - some of us even change our reading habits as we pick up a light-hearted beach read!  If you are like the three of us, you may be searching for that illusive sense of peace that evades our busy lifestyles.  Katie is planning another wedding, now just two months away and the detail list is expanding exponentially.  Meb recently began her new job and is full of plans and new ideas to advance child care, but will still try to grab time in her garden now that it is complete with paths and planter boxes.  And Joan is finding her summer schedule crazier than ever with bi-coastal children and a 90th birthday celebration for her mother.  As Katie reflects this month, life will always find us, so it is vital to find a place to stop and listen, even for a moment - to be still and hear the sound of our heart and our soul.

          This season we hope you find a place where you can experience the inner peace and refreshment that a 'lazy' day of summer brings.

Joan, Katie and Meb 

          There is a spot that I especially love in Central Park, a place where I always stop toward the end of my walk, at the top of Shakespeare's Garden.  I am invariably alone because it is off the beaten path and I can look down over the gardens, or up through the trees that make a canopy above.  I turn off my iPod and tune in to the sway and swishing of the leaves, the sounds of the birds, and the ever-changing garden below.  "...Earth's crammed with heaven..." as Elizabeth Barrett Browning said.  

          I don't stay more than a few minutes, but I find myself saying a prayer more often than not.  I feel like my prayer is more concentrated here, more than church, more than in the quiet before falling asleep when there is static from the day's distractions; as if the whispering leaves bundle and translate my offering, carrying it away on a breeze to some place I hope is out there.  Over the last two years I've especially said a prayer here for my college friend Karen, who has been battling breast cancer.  She isn't a believer, but I told her about the spot where I prayed anyway, and I think she was happy prayers were being sent her way.  A couple of days ago, as I looked over the garden, appreciating the new summer colors, I said a prayer of sorts to Karen, hoping she had discovered that place, that it was some kind of heaven.

          It is said we have the ability to make heaven on earth, which seems like a great hedge in the event there isn't one elsewhere.  Maybe we do, if you consider the turnover of earth, the planting and tending of the seeds of creation already here as creating some kind of heaven.  Finding one place like Shakespeare's Garden and considering it my own, is a place where I can stand still.  No matter what's going on in my life, like Einstein said, I am not lost.  In challenging times, it is a place to feel my feet planted on the ground, in good times, a place to ponder and appreciate.  And a place to think of long time friends and smile.

          As I came down the path leading away from the garden, I came upon a turtle plodding along just outside a low wire gate and far, in turtle steps, from the lake.  I flagged down a park worker cutting the grass inside the gate to ask him if he knew whether the turtle should be out there wandering.  "No, I didn't realize I'd left the gate open. Thank you!  She is looking for a place to lay her eggs.  It's that time of year you know," and with that he scooped up the turtle to walk her across the grass to the lake's edge, being sure to close the opening. 

          We creatures of the earth struggle, whether the lowly turtle lost on the path, or my mighty friend hanging on through chemo, surgery and more chemo until she couldn't take anymore, the cancer finally declaring its victory.  Yet, we can also bask in the comfort of a shady tree in summer, or a friend's warmth any time of year.  It's a wonder we don't notice more, the simple and sublime. Because the struggles will come, seems to me we might as well stop and notice that the leaves are swaying or the turtle is out of place.
          My hope for you this summer is that you are fortunate enough to find your own Shakespeare's Garden, maybe it's a bench in your own backyard or a favorite coffee shop, and if you are not inclined to say a prayer, then maybe just whistle a happy tune...someone might hear.  (Katie)


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Upcoming Events

Santa Clara University
Alumni Association
Santa Clara, CA
Presentation and Discussion
Reunion Weekend
Saturday, October 12, 2013
10 am to noon

Thank you to the Santa Clara
University Alumni Association

 and the Council of Women
of Boston College
We love chasing miracles with
you. The groups in Chevy Chase, MD, 
Santa Clara, SF, LA, Pittsburgh and
Chicago have been fantastic and
we look forward to sharing
additional events with you.

Facetime and Skype are
wonderful venues for sharing
conversation and connecting
over miracles. Thank you to the
wonderful women in the New York
and Las Vegas book clubs 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!

We have been enjoying scheduling
events surrounding the release of
the paperback version of
The Miracle Chase.
If you have any suggestions for
venues where we can continue
the miracle discussion, please
contact us.

Thank you to the Portland Book Review

and the PrayersWork blog

for featuring The Miracle Chase
with such inspirational reviews.

Thank you to Christ Episcopal Church
in Denver and the public libraries
in East Hampton, NY, Naperville, IL
and Simsbury, CT for liking
The Miracle Chase on
Facebook and recommending it to
readers and book clubs.

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Joan, Katie and Meb
co-authors of The Miracle Chase
It's About Faith
"As we speed through life even the smallest miracle can make us stop and listen, reminding us that all the noise and busyness we create is just the sideline." The Miracle Chase