March 3rd is coming around the corner, and our gifted Storyteller and Experiential Retreat Leader, S. Karla Barker, OSF will be honoring us with her reflective program, “What does it mean to be Salt of Earth?”
S. Karla’s retreats touch the soul through her most beautiful ways of helping others integrate beliefs and life experiences with imagery and rituals that enrich our spirits in deep and unexpected ways.
Last year, I posted this poem and reflection (shown below) on my personal blog. I am sharing it with you today to give you an idea for the profoundly peaceful impact a single morning with S. Karla had on me, long before I worked for our retreat center!
I hope you’ll enjoy it, and I hope you’ll consider joining us on Saturday, March 3rd from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Oldenburg Franciscan Center for a peaceful day of retreat and personal discovery. We’ll discover the ways we can both savor and add zest to the life we’ve been given, and we’ll find encouragement in sharing our distinctive flavor as Salt of Earth so that others may relish our gentleness, creativity, and love of Life!
RSVP to 812-933-6437 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
Peace & joy to all,
Oldenburg Franciscan Center
Dear Shadow, Come Home ~ A New Morning Song
Poet’s preamble: There is a Native American tradition that teaches its children that when we sleep at night our shadow runs off to chase our dreams. In the morning before children rise and let their feet hit the floor, they are taught to whistle or sing for their shadow to come home. Upon hearing the call, their shadow will return and reunite with them. If they forget to do this, however, their shadow will remain in a distant dreamland, and the person will go through the day separated from an integral piece of their soul, and they will not be whole or fully present to give or receive what is needed that day.
I learned of this tradition while attending a program on Native American Spirituality given by S. Karla Barker, a Sister of St. Francis in Oldenburg, IN, and the story resonated deeply within my heart. The poem and artwork that you find here are like prayers – calling my shadow home through difficult – and peaceful – times.
Poem: A New Morning Song
(Thanks to Sister Karla, OSF – Oldenburg)
Can you hear
The beat of the drum,
The sun is
Arisin’ and I’m on my own.
And we’re full of dreams.
Stand tall as the
New morning gleams.
At night while
We’ll ride your white steed.
Keep me dreaming
So we’ll never need.
But a new day
Is callin’ and
We must be true.
You must follow me
Together we are
Keep on seeking
My spirit, my shadow,
And my guide,
My presence, my love,
My hope and my pride,
A new day is dawning;
Together we’ll ride.
Artistic notes: As for the artwork, I created this one weekend while on a mini retreat at a dear friend’s house. She suggested that we do decoupage – to see through art where the Spirit might be moving within us. I stayed up past 1am putting mine together, totally into the process. I still love the images I discovered. And while it might look like a bunch of random hodge-podge to others, to me, it speaks gently and happily to my soul. If you want to make one of your own, it’s easy!
- Paint a background on canvas with 1 or 2 colors… you can do a design, but it’s not necessary. Pick color(s) that speak to you.
- Choose a word or phrase that has particular meaning or a ‘catch’ for you right now and paint it on the canvas. (i.e. Mine was “Dear shadow, come home.” My friend’s was “Alacrity”)
- Get out some old magazines and newspapers and start flipping and clipping out images that speak to you.
- Arrange the images you cut out and adhere them to canvas with Modge Podge (or a similar project glue). We first painted the surface of our (dried) canvas with the Modge Podge, placed our cut-out pictures one by one on the gluey surface, then painted another layer of glue on top of each picture.
- Let it dry! See what you think…..
Last but not least, I encourage you to come to the Burg on Saturday, March 3rd to spend a morning of reflection with S. Karla! Come learn more about yourself and how God created you to be Salt of Earth! She’s a wonderful retreat director! Call 812-933-6437 or email email@example.com for more information!
© ~AMNR~ 2011