walking the stream bed
itís the middle of May nearing 7 oíclock in the evening hour
and the dayís pace is waning as is mine.
the sun is still holding over the west horizon
its yellow rays illuminating the freshly green environs
as I walk along the stream bed with canine companion.
I say Iím just out walking the dog
but we are both each otherís excuse for doing this as often as we do.
two weeks ago the stream was at flood stage.
two days ago canoes and kayaks floated by as the dog barked his disapproval.
today I am walking the stream bed without even getting
my feet wet the water is so low.
we assume nature changes slowly
and sometimes that is true
but this stream bed Iím walking is not the same
as the one I walked last summer.
the meduxnekeag is a rock bottom river
smooth rounded stones washed by years of flowing water
coarse gravel beds along the edges
forming backwoods beaches for the ATVs to run
when water levels drop.
this is what Iím walking on now
and it wasnít here last year.
It shows one canít hold on to much of anything
even the river bed moves on you when you least expect it.
half moon over head
strong breeze moving the tree tops as I look up the steep river bank
breeze strong enough to keep the black flies and mosquitos grounded
no need for bug repellant this hour
and it looks like I have a new beach spot to set my lawn chair
and cooler this summer as long as the dog approves.
some things never change.
Twenty years ago there was a deep swimming hole by the ledge on the cabin side of the river. Since there was no easy way to get into the water or any place to lay down and soak up the sun I built a small floating wharf for such purposes. Well, things have gradually changed over time and the river bed under and around the wharf has now filled in with washed gravel. And while that proved to be an unanticipated disappointment, the new gravel beach just downstream has turned out to be a splendid upgrade! Itís interesting to see how some things we have no control over end up becoming something we would never have imagined.
This is sometimes how it feels at the UU Houlton Church. Iíve been here long enough now to see the ebb and flow of events and people coming and going to not get too excited or too discouraged about any one thing. In the end it all works together in a way that none of us can really plan for ahead of time. Each of us plays an integral part in this amazing process of community, relationships and commitments. Iím looking forward to a summer filled with sunshine, barbecues and friends as well as the special happenings I have no idea are coming.
Have a great summer! Dave
OUTGOING MODERATOR'S MESSAGE
Laney and I are moving to Bar Harbor soon so this will be my farewell message as your moderator. It has been my pleasure to serve as moderator for the last few years and I will take many fond memories of friends and good times with me.
Since my last message we have made it through the long Winter and the snow has been replaced by apple blossoms. I love this time of year when life springs forth right from the ground. I also feel a lot of life is springing forth in our church. In the last few months our Coffee House has really blossomed with several new skilled musicians making regular appearances. It has been wonderful to feel and share in this exciting new energy. Also the Cup Cafe is on the upswing with its new policy of being open only for events instead of trying to keep regular hours. There is a lot more activity and fun being generated and even making more money. We have also announced an expanded Summer service schedule with Rev. Dave Hutchinson giving one service each month.
I hope you all will join me in welcoming Leigh Griffith as our new moderator. Leigh has been on our Board of Trustees for many years and is well qualified to be moderator. Thank you Leigh for taking the gavel.
Laney and I still have friends and family here in the Houlton area so we will be back from time to time to check in. So it is not good bye its is just so long for now.
Love and Light to you all, John Lloyd
FROM OUR NEW MODERATOR
Hello members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Houlton. Many of you know me as a long-standing member of the Board of Trustees. I have agreed to give this post titled "Moderator" a test drive for six months. Hopefully, it will take much less time than that to make the two of us (myself and The Title) work well together. There is never any guarantee of smooth roads devoid of potholes and frost heaves, but I will do my best to ensure that the vehicle at least stays on the road. You can help me by not throwing things or yelling at each other, and for pity's sake, no, we are not there yet! This thing isn't equipped with an automatic transmission, it's manual all the way, so, with a little help from all of you, I plan to let out the clutch and get under way!
Your shiny new moderator, Leigh Griffith
FLOWER COMMUNION & COOKOUT
Our traditional flower communion service is Sunday, June 3rd. Please bring a fresh cut flower to contribute to the ritual. 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 each Sunday morning during the summer. Sunday service includes readings, candles of joys and concerns, a short talk and time for quiet reflection. 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.
TRIP TO KATAHDIN WOODS AND WATER NATIONAL MONUMENT
"A Gift to the Nation. Spread across a wild landscape offering spectacular views of Mount Katahdin, Katahdin Woods and Waters invites discovery of its rivers, streams, woods, flora, fauna, geology, and the night skies that have attracted humans for millennia.Ē - Opening page on website for the new Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument
We are planning a day trip to the Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument on Saturday, August 18. New road signs for the park have recently been installed and if you havenít visited the newest National Monument in the state of Maine this is your chance. We will be leaving the church parking lot at 10AM. Bring plenty of water and a packed lunch for the road trip to the park. We will be driving the loop road, stopping for lunch in the park and perhaps do some light hiking for those interested. (No hiking required!) It is approximately a six hour experience.
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