Sunday, January 26, 2014

I love riding on the train. Well, I guess I love it if I have a seat to myself and the train car is empty and quiet – which is the case on this snowy morning.  There is nothing quite so tranquil as rolling past snow covered houses, farms and fields from inside the warmth of a magic carpet made of steel. ( City of New Orleans)

I came up to the Windy City a few days ago in search of vendors for my buddy St. Anthony, finder of love.  A day wandering around the Merchandise Mart Gift Show resulted in plenty of purchases for The Abbey Espresso Bar and one potential vendor for St. A.  I was pleased.  But, the real coup came the next day when on the suggestions of mi amigo, Tonio, I headed to the Pilsen neighborhood just southwest (I think) of the Loop .  It's called Little Village and it's a primarily Latino neighborhood.  

I was driving a borrowed car and I was not quite sure where I was going.  I prayed the age old  prayer to St. Anthony,....." Tony, Tony  look around, something's lost and must be found."  In this case - it was ME who was lost!

No sooner had I thought of that prayer that I looked up and saw banners lining the street advertising St. Anthony Hospital.  Is that wild, or what?   Since I'm flying by the seat of my pants on this project, I  figured that a detour to St. Anthony's was probably in order.

I wish I could say that I went there and the folks at St. Anthony ordered dozens of statues, but what really happened is that I was greeted by a most delightful Latino woman named Berta, who welcomed me to the hospital.  She introduced me to Janisa, the Director of PR, who was also delightful.  I left a statue of St. Anthony, finder of love, with  Janisa and hope that it finds its way into the right hands to further our cause - or at least into the hands of someone who needs to feel its message of love and experience its healing powers.   I may never know.  But, my prayer is "all for the highest good" - that's what really matters.

After my sweet visit to St. Anthony's, I headed into the "Little Village".  There I visited a few shops, and had lunch at a taco place.  The waitress, whose English is worse than my Spanish asked me about the statue. As an explanation, I showed her a copy of the prayer, which is in Spanish and English.  She laughed and indicated that she needed the services of St. Anthony, finder of love.  She asked for a copy of the prayer.
Still no sale, but I suppose that spreading love and hope is a good day's work.

I did connect with some shop keepers and met one that may be a potential vendor.  If I didn't like to visit with people and if I didn't believe in the St. Anthony Project, my day in the "Little Village" may have been a disappointment.  As it was, I spent a lovely, albeit chilly afternoon in what felt like "Little Mexico".  I thoroughly enjoyed the people I met along the way and have high hopes that one day soon, St. Anthony will be gracing the shelves of at least one tienda in the "Little Village."

Friday, January 17, 2014

January Thaw...not so much this year

It continues to snow in the Mighty Midwest!  Feels like the "old days".  Not like the covered wagon old days, but old days when I was a kid.  My memory tells me it snowed more back then.  But that might be because I walked to and from school in it and we all wore wool coats and hats and knit mittens and gloves and when the wool got wet it got heavy and cold against our skin.  And, we wore uniform skirts to school and so our knees were purple by the time we got there.  I remember hearing and believing that Eskimos were heavier people because they lived in a cold climate and they needed the extra padding of fat to keep themselves warm.  And, I remember being concerned that my knees just may be gaining a few extra L B's during the winter months to protect my kneecaps from freezing.  I didn't like that thought, and sometime I'd wrap my scarf around them - not just to keep them from frostbite, but to insure that I didn't wake up one morning to overweight kneecaps.

I hope that you are all warm - wherever you are.  If you're in the Midwest or anywhere it's cold outside - slow down.  It's time to hibernate. It's time for renewal and rest.  Try not to be anxious if you want to spend more time in bed or on the couch than you feel is normal.  I think it's a healthy and holy time of the year.  A time of reflection and snuggling.  If you live alone, get a wonderful blankie - a soft one -  wrap yourself in it and nurture your spirit. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

So, Happy New Year everyone!  Here's to a year full of romance, adventure and LOVE!!!!   Here's also to being brave, to being bold!  Anais Nin wrote, "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."

So, wherever you are in your life....commit yourself to a year of new experiences.  We're never too young or too old to live life fully and with great expectations.

Personally,  I'm off to the far reaches of these United States this year to spread the story of St. Anthony, the finder of love.  It's not like any of us have a desire to live life without it.  So, we might as well ask for it to be in our lives abundantly and then we might as well spread it all around.  Plus, how fun will that be to head down to San Antonio, Texas...hello....San Antonio..... St. Anthony is the patron saint of the entire city!  They'll LOVE the St. Anthony, finder of love statues there, don't you think?  And, you know what, we've included a prayer in the box with the statue about finding love, not only romantic love (there's a prayer for that too), but love for ourselves and our families and our communities and our world.  We better all be praying THAT one, don't you think?

And so, on the topic of the New Year and living large and living fully and loving abundantly, I just read something today from a book called One Minute Wisdom.  The story goes that a newly married couple asked the Master, "What shall we do to make our love endure?"  And the Master answered, "Love other things together."

So there.  Get busy loving each other and other things together and let your love endure.  By the way, in the box with the St. Anthony, there is also a prayer for couples who have found love in each other, asking for blessings on their love and that it will grow and endure.  The story was a nice lead up to telling you about the prayer, wasn't it?

St. Anthony, finder of love.  Prayers for finding true love, for blessing love found and for finding love in ourselves and our world.  He really is  St. Anthony, the finder.

God Bless everyone.  Believe in the power of prayer.  Believe in miracles, Believe in Love.