Saturday, May 31, 2014

Canadian geese and Alzheimers art: grace sightings

An Oregon spring abounds in grace. I will only mention a few recent sightings.
--Canadian geese on the lake: Early one morning at Tilikum, I walked to the lake and enjoyed the company of a family of Canadian geese. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. Mist rose off the water as the sun joined us.
--Reading the river: My experience as Listener at the Leadership Institute for Group Discernment surprised and delighted me. During our four days together I heard God’s voice as currents flowing together in a river. One the last day, reading the river back to the group was my joyful “responsibility.”
Oregon wild flowers: We spent a day at Oregon Gardens and were surprised again at the vitality and variety. What a gift.
Saturday morning cinnamon rolls at the Newberg Bakery: Making new habits is fun. We walk through the quiet streets, bring along a poetry book and read to each other over our second cup of coffee.
Alzheimers art and grandma: The Oregon branch of the Alzheimers Association has been using art therapy among those suffering with Alzheimers disease, and they sponsor an annual art contest and auction. Hal’s mom, 94 years old, participated this year and had her watercolor of Mount Hood accepted for display and the auction. Some of us accompanied her to the exhibition in the Portland Art Museum this week, where her painting was displayed along with that of the other 80 winners. Grandma doesn’t remember painting the picture, but she accepted that it was hers and seemed to enjoy all the attention. In fact she smiled more than is common these days, and that was the best part of the evening. We discovered that a chain of care-homes for the elderly had pre-purchased her painting for $400.00 and will hang it in their corporate offices. Of course, that’s neither here nor there to Grandma. But the whole experience was a grace-filled affirmation to all of us that she is still a person of great worth and creativity.
Thanks be to God.


  1. Another encouraging piece. But who is that man next to you?

  2. The man next to me is one of Hal's brothers, Clyde. The other man is his brother John, with his wife Marilyn. Hal is the oldest of nine kids. These two happen to live nearby. Hal had band practice that evening.