Surrounded by our thoughts or imaginary objects, living in our ideas, not one in a million ever sees the objects which are actually around them…Simply to see to a distant horizon through a clear air, - the fine outline of a distant hill or a blue mountain-top through some new vista, - this is wealth enough for one afternoon. Henry David Thoreau - Personal Journal, 1861
When you look at a flower, you may or may not actually see the flower. Indeed, the flower is right there in front of you, but your mind may be elsewhere. You could be thinking a million other thought possibilities…What am I going to have for lunch today? Did I remember to check the oil in the lawnmower? Perhaps the Red Sox and Cubs will play each other in the World Series this year. What is the distance between New York City and the moon? Our continuous stream of thought accompanies us from moment to moment and day to day until (over time) it begins to shape and define who we are.
We think we are seeing clearly, but are we really? With each thought we are adding a subtle layer of distancing from ourselves to the object we are looking at. Each layer removes us, bit by bit, from a direct experience of what is occurring around us. Over time we acclimate to this process until we no longer notice it’s even happening. When was the last time you drank a glass of water without thinking about anything but the drinking of the water itself? Each of us live in the same world; the world of trees, vegetables, automobiles and charge cards, but no two of us see it alike. Our experience is a uniquely personal combination of our own layering. Thoreau encourages us to return to a clear seeing, a seeing that is not complicated by our own thinking. Thinking itself is fine, just don’t overthink. It’s the extra layer of overthinking that starts to become counterproductive and makes life cumbersome.
As summer approaches allow for leisurely afternoons of cold lemonade sipped slowly under blue skies white clouds floating in air.
Have a great summer!
I'm looking forward to Summer. Don't get me wrong, I really like that we have four very different seasons here in Northern Maine. The wonder of a sparkling snowy day and the time for introspection in the Winter are a treasure. Spring is magical as the plants and animals come to life. But Summer is my fun time. Kayaking, hiking in the woods, exploring places I have never been, visiting old friends and making new friends, make Summer a joyous time for me. Sure there are some chores like mowing pastures, weeding gardens, making repairs to buildings and grounds but it seems easier to balance these with fun stuff in the Summer. I think that balance is the key to bringing joy and fun into all of our activities. The joy of seeing mountains reflected in a clear lake can be the same joy as seeing a freshly mown pasture. May we all find a balance that brings joy to all the activities of our lives.
FLOWER COMMUNION & COOKOUT
Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, June 5th. Please bring a fresh cut flower to contribute to the communion basket. This Unitarian tradition originated in 1923 in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Dr. Norbert Capek asked his parishioners to bring and receive flowers as a symbol of their shared life as a spiritual community. Please come and join us for this special service. Flashy shirts and splashy skirts are also encouraged for the festive and colorful occasion. Our cookout will take place at Rick and Kathari Findlen's this year. (30 Meadow Lane) Please bring something to add to the pot-luck and a grill will also be available. There is a large lawn for games and a garage in case of rain or in case we need shade from the heat. All are welcome and don't forget the bug spray!
There will be a 10AM service offered in the parlor on Sunday mornings during the summer. It is a slightly shorter service that includes readings, candles of joys and concerns, a short talk and time for quiet reflection. This is our fourth summer offering services and the response has been enthusiastic. Once again, Bill and Betty White will be coordinating the services. If you are interested in leading a summer service please speak to Bill and there is a sign up list in the coffee room.
UU BOOTH AT THE FARMER'S MARKET
Again this summer the UU Crafters will be offering homemade crafts at the Farmer's Market in Market Square. And, for those who enjoy coffee during shopping or selling, Fen will be offering fresh brewed Equal Exchange coffee. Come, visit, and check out what we all have to offer. Perhaps you might enjoy joining our market team. We would especially enjoy the help of someone with a pickup truck.
AROOTSAKOOSTIK MUSIC FESTIVAL - 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Saturday, July 9 in New Sweden 10am - 9pm This is a great event for music lovers, food lovers and families, with over twelve bands appearing on the big stage at the Thomas Park amphitheater in New Sweden. You'll recognize such familiar names as The Ghost of Paul Revere, Gunther Brown, Putnam Smith and the organizer of the event, Travis Cyr. The Cup Cafe will also be there manning the coffee booth. For more information check out the Aroosakoostik Facebook page.
Please click here for the currently scheduled events.
E-MAIL/INTERNET DISCUSSION LIST: UU HOULTON COMMUNITY
An email discussion mailing list is a tool for a group of people to exchange messages via email. Any subscriber to the list can send messages that are received by all the subscribers, creating an email-based group conversation. The UU Houlton Community Yahoo Group has been created for members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Houlton. We currently have 26 members. Please take a look at the webpage. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/uuhoultoncommunity/ If you'd find it useful and wish to join just click the "Join This Group" button. After entering your info, remember to click on "save changes" before leaving the page. You can contact Rev. Dave or Karen if you have questions or need further instructions.
OTHER UU ONLINE RESOURCES