In praise of salad….

This blessing by UU minister Nancy Shaffer brings with it memories of spring salads filled with bright green lettuce fresh from the fields of local farmers.

Field at Table

When I begin to bless this food
and close my eyes I lose myself
first just in green: how
do leaves grow themselves this
green and how do they
grow at all to be so large and
how do they make themselves from
soil which in itself is only brown and
sunlight helps and water but
how is the end of this, green? How
can I bless this food? It blesses me.

Thank you, I say, for this bowl
which also is field, this green
which is meal before
I eat. Thank you, I say,
that this green becomes me.
Thank you for mysteries, this life.

First Salad of the Season

First Salad of the Season (Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

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Fire and Dreams

fire
fire (Photo credit: matthewvenn)

Light.  Paper sparking into flame.  Every year at this time many Unitarian Universalist congregations hold a Fire Communion service.  Using the neo-pagan ritual of writing on paper, then burning the paper to release the words, UUs use the light of our chalice to help us move into the new year.  It’s a beautiful ceremony – using flash paper (available at magic stores) which bursts into flame and leaves no ash – the room is filled with brief explosions of light as each person steps forward to cast their paper into the flame. This service is typically held close to the new year and often focuses on letting go of past regrets and sorrows;  I prefer to look forward, to focus on hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. I see the fire service as marking the transition into the upcoming season of creativity and beginnings.

The following is an excerpt from a fire communion service I led a few years ago which focused on dreams. Continue reading