ODE TO TEAPOT VALLEY

 

O happy vale - you loved us well!

Your doctor welcomed us - smiling warmly

Wearing shorts, extending his hand

"I'm Tony - how can we help you?"

 

Your cafe brought us gourmet chicken salad and steaming cappuccino

(unheard of in our small farming towns)

Rusted machines dot the fields of your "Steam Museum"

Steep hills overlook your sunny valley.

 

Our son longed for a bike

Your bikeshop owner looked in the shed

"Well this just came in and I've

Not had time to fix it up

Take this - No: there'll be no charge

If you bring it back in good shape."

 

Vineyards line your slopes.

Cheerful vintners fill our glasses and

Confess their favorites.

Stones skip across the surface of your river.

We ride screaming down your "flying fox"

Ian conquers your confidence course

(Fashioned for much larger bodies)

A bevy of small Friends try hard to drown me - giggling.

 

Your dining room defeats us, so

A table is set - with flowers

Where we can dine quietly alone

And breathe - and heal.

Young girls bring a chain of flowers

To Annie's sickroom bedside.

 

May you always turn death boats from your shores

May you always lend your cars bravely to near strangers

From across the sea

May you welcome travelers and singers into your homes - and hearts

May you trust - and forgive

May you be a beacon of slower pace and

Easy-going spirit in a

Too busy cluttered world

May you teach the great nations the ways of

 

               PEACE.

 

-   Peter Blood-Patterson, Brightwater, New Zealand (13 January, 2000)

 

Written at the New Zealand/Aotearoa Yearly Meeting summer gathering held at Teapot Valley Christian Camp. We were invited by New Zeland Yearly Meeting to spend about five weeks traveling among Friends doing music ministry from December 1999 through the end of January 2000.  New Zealand had refused to allow U.S. warships with nuclear weapons dock at their ports not long before.

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Quote that speaks to me

Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies

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They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.  
Death cannot kill what never dies.  
Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their friendship.
If absence be not death, neither is theirs.  
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.  
For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent.
In this Divine Glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
 - William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude, 1702.

Note: This passage was quoted by J.K.Rowling as the epigraph of her novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Braithwaite on Outreach

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Men & Women with a Message of Power

It is as a "religion of life" that Quakerism will be presented in the future and is being presented now.

Its distinguishing note will be its resolve to bring all this human life of ours under the transforming power of spiritual life.  It will stand out against all divisions and compartments that separate the sacred from the secular, the sanctuary from the outward world of nature, the sacrament from the days' common work, the clergy from the laity. 

It will tell of a Christian experience that makes all life sacred and all days holy, all nature a sanctuary, all work a sacrament, and gives to every man and woman in the body fit place and service.  Its concern will be to multiply men and women who will have a message of power because they are themselves the children of light.  It will claim the whole of man's life, and the whole of life, individual, social, national international, for the dominion of the will of God.

William C. Braithwaite and Henry T. Hodgkin, The Message and Mission of Quakerism (Philadelphia, Winston, 1912), 25-26.

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