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October 29, 2007
And what was our favorite moment of our time in Greece?

Was it walking among the remarkable temples and homes of Delos, along the harbor of Symi, along the fortifications of Rhodes? Climbing to the acropolis on Lindos? Was it the magical Cretan artifacts, the haunting Minoan shapes that made their way across the sea from one island to another? The theaters? Or was it the tiny village of Olympos on the island of Symi, its donkeys trudging up the sharp incline of its streets, its ladies in their colorful embroidery handing passersby fragrant sprigs of fresh basil? Was it the churches, encrusted with silver and silk, dark with centuries of candle smoke and remembered incense, the votive offerings of tiny metal arms, legs, babies festooning the shrines, incarnating the longings of people who want the things people have always wanted: Let my husband survive his illness. Let my shattered leg heal. Let me have a child. Let me find work, a sweetheart, my lost brother, my own sunken courage.

Was it the blue sky? The bright sun? The dark shapes of distant mountains? The olive orchards, the tiny walled gardens, where pumpkins and flowers and tomatoes tumble together across the ground? Was it the dancing? The family dinner with old friends, whose children were small when last we met and now have children of their own? The rocking of the vessel as we slept? The sweetness of nuts and honey in every dessert?

It is never possible to respond with much in the way of meaning to such a question. One moment of memory stands on the shoulders of too many others ever to live on its own. Fortunately, they don't have to. One need never choose the favorite moment. It is not necessary for anything in life to be a high point, and it is probably not even helpful to imagine that there is one. The whole of it is glorious, the assembly of minutes and hours and days and weeks that become years and decades and centuries before we even realize they have passed.
I am back from Greece, and I thank you all for your patience during my absence. Q and I had a splendid time in all respects. Thanks to Debbie Loeb for her faithful posting of pictures in the HodgePodge -- more to come -- and to Deacon J for holding down the fort and cranking out More or Less Church. Remember that you can subscribe to both those Farm features by visiting and clicking on "subscribe."

This Saturday, November 3: "Too Busy to Pray?" A quiet day with Barbara Crafton at St. Luke's, Metuchen NJ 08840 from 9-3. The cost of the day is $20, payable at the door. Call to make a reservation, 732-548-4308, ext 10. Periods of blessed silence in between talks for those who crave it, or very cool craft sessions with Debbie of the HodgePodge for those who prefer that.

Also this weekend, "Prayer at your Fingertips", a retreat with Deacon J at Christ Church in Jordan, New York. Call (315) 689-3141 for directions and more information.
And check out...Fr. Matthew in Hollywood! Or nearby, anyway (His interesting posting was done before the terrible fires which devastated miles of land and many houses not far from there). Click on "Fr. Matthew" at Economist Carol Stone reflects on Al Gore's Nobel prize at Ways of the World, and Debbie's up to her elbows in pumpkin pulp over at the Hodgepodge, while Deacon J contemplates a large mountain of mulch and remembers raking autumn leaves. All on the Farm, at
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