Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Virgin a Day-- Reflections on the Twelve Days of Mary Event

These 12 days of Mary have meant more to me than I could have imagined starting out. I have been inspired and strengthened by the writings of all the participating bloggers and immeasurably enriched by the dazzling array of Marys presented along with their stories, appearing in different guises across all different times and cultures. Truly, "from henceforward all generations will call me blessed." I will miss the "mornings with Mary," the time spent reading and learning, and the interactions we've had around a common subject, but look forward to continuing to follow the blogs of many of the new artists and writers I've been blessed to discover through this very special meme.

Also wanted to record a couple minor serendipitous occurrences I've experienced during these twelve days. One of them was going to visit an old and dear friend over the weekend, who gifted me with a stack of books from her collection that she thought I would be interested in. One of the books is called, "Love and the World: A Guide to Conscious Soul Practice" by Robert Sardello. 

I began reading the introduction and first chapter on the trip home. These few sentences jumped out at me, they seemed so in tune with the spirit of the Mary project:

"The soul, like the spirit, is a deed we humans do. And it is a capacity, the capacity for life to be meaning, both felt and known. This capacity is realized when we have a conscious sense for images that flows through all modes of experience-- from sensing to memory to dreaming to thinking."

It just feels like the right book at the right time. I'm looking forward to delving more deeply into it.

My other serendipitous occurrence was much more hum-drum and quotidian, to move out of the heady realm of abstracting about images for a bit. ;-) It happened just this morning. I was loading the kids into the car for a play date at a friend's house, and I was feeling a bit nervous about the drive. I think I must be anemic or something (will have my iron levels checked at my next OB/GYN appointment) because I've been getting randomly weak and dizzy at times, and although I felt well enough at the time, I was scared of that happening on the road. It would be okay, I'd just pull over if I needed to, but I didn't like the idea of having to deal with that. I said a prayer to God for strength and safety, and then, very hesitantly, tossed in a Protestant's version of a petition to Mary-- "Dear Mary, could you please ask your Son to grant us a smooth journey?" I'm still not sure how I feel personally about praying to Mary, but thought it couldn't hurt to at least ask her to pray for me. If she didn't "hear" me, no harm done.

The drive was fine and once at my friend's house with the kids happily crawling about the floor, we began making cheerfully boring housewifely conversation about meal plans. I mentioned that I'd have to stop with the kids at the grocery on the way home to get split peas, if I wanted  to make split pea soup which I had been intending on. Honestly, I felt weary just thinking about it.

"Split peas," my friend said musingly, "Those would be green, I suppose?"

I agreed that this was indeed the case and she said, "I've got some that we're not going to use. Do you want them so you don't have to stop at the store? The lady who lived here before us left them in the pantry."

It's the little things, you know? That really made my morning. Perhaps it's stretching fancy a bit far, but I couldn't help but remember my request to Mary earlier. I wondered if she was smiling.

Linking to A Virgin A Day.


  1. Years ago, one of my very dear friends converted to Orthodoxy. I never could understand why, until one day I took a close look at some of the icon cards he sent me, and I was transported into heavenly realms.

    May you be blessed abundantly as this year draws to a close!

    1. I've come close to converting to Orthodoxy, but have held back-- partly for family reasons, partly from reluctance to take such a decisive step, and partly because my Protestant heritage still feels like home. But my explorations in the Eastern Orthodox Church have given me a great appreciation for Orthodox iconography, liturgy, theology. I like to think it's changed me and broadened me a bit. :)

      Thanks for sharing! Blessings your way as well. :)

  2. This is truly awe-inspiring. I was overcome by the multitude of representations of the Virgin -- none of which I'd ever seen. I hadn't planned to watch the whole video, but it drew me in. Thanks for sharing it and all you've shared over the last 12 days.


  3. How very sweet!!!
    Bless you!
    And Mary is so friendly, don't ever hesitate to talk with her!

  4. Beautiful music and icon series of Our Blessed Mother. I sent the link to my son who has a special fondness for the Eastern Rite. A truly lovely way to end these 12 days together. I'm very glad to have shared them with you.

  5. what a great little video - i am an icon lover, ever since i was a child.. thank you for your posts along this pilgrimage, lovely!

  6. This was an awesome video. I am drawn to this kind of icon art. I wish I could reproduce it at my art table, but all I can get is modern looking faces. I wish for an "icon art class" but have not found one. This was a wonderful post. Thanks for all of it. xo

  7. Leah,thanks for the video - at first I thought I didn't have time to watch all of it but became mesmerized by the procession of beautiful images.
    It's wonderful when a book falls into your lap at just the right moment,isn't it!
    Enjoy your journey....and good luck,
    lovely to meet you!

  8. I am a bit behind. Thank you for this beautiful video - the Mother of God - such an incredible title - can we ever fathom it all? Thank you for your heart felt sharings the past twelve days - I will leave comments when I visit in future. take care and stay blessed

  9. Super video and I agree it is a fitting end to our Mary days. I have so enjoyed being part of all this. I hope to join in next year, too. Happy Christmas!xx