Category Archives: Eastern religion/ reincarnation

Sunday World Topics of Interest


When people question faiths, I am sometimes aghast. Families and traditions

are part of heritage from generations back. When someone asked me, of a

different faith, “Who ‘made up’ the idea of Palm Sunday?” I had to think back

upon all of my Bible readings and my childhood lessons.


Aha!  In, John 12:12-13

(New Testament, Bible):

“They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him (Jesus),

shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the

Lord – – the King of Israel!'”


No, this does not discuss or dictate a certain day to take palm

branches and walk through town, or in my family’s church’s case,

through church. It does mention this is a celebration and honoring

someone who we may have strong beliefs in.


I was especially proud then, to read that the church I attended with

my three children and my ex-husband, First Presbyterian, Delaware,

Ohio, is going to use “Eco-Palms.”


This is part of the Presbyterian Earth Care program joining with

the Presbyterian Hunger Project. These are branches which you

may feel are worth celebrating about. Usually palms are harvested

in rainforests where they make needed habitats for migrating birds.


Birds are one of my favorite part of the animal kingdom. The more

fronds or palm leaves taken and cut by the harvesters in the

rainforest, the more desperate a situation it becomes.


Eco-Palm harvesters, gather only quality palm fronds in a way that

allows the plants to keep growing. This program is considered a

community process and the way they are trained to promote saving

the plants and the homes of the rainforest birds, touched my heart.


The marketing program is what helps the Hunger Project, since it is

one where an agent is handling the sales and providing monies to

capture more of the profits to benefit the native population:  for shoes,

school uniforms, food and basic health care.


In addition, a portion of the profits is set aside for providing

scholarships, paying teachers and helping elderly members.

This truly is, ‘Cause for Jubilation’ in the highest form.



Timothy Merrill gives us his perspective on

always having to Wait in,


“The Waiting Game

Life involves lots of waiting. We wait in groups, in lines, in cars.

We wait for packages, for the bus, for the sun to rise.

We wait in doctor’s offices, at the post office, at the DMV

(waiting for license or plates renewals.)

Waiting implies we’re at someone else’s mercy.


It is also usually linked to Hope.


Perhaps that is why Paul Tillich called ‘waiting’ a “metaphor for



Why would a person wait if there weren’t the firm belief that the

object of one’s wait will eventually materialize?


Waiting can be enervating, which is why in the Bible,

Isaiah 40:31 these words are so promising:

“They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”


Yet, waiting is tough if you have nothing to do while waiting.


That is why Jesus, when talking about waiting, also talked about

working – – “Work for the night is coming.”


Sometimes it is less tiring to work than it is to wait.


There’s a lot of waiting during Lent.

You’re waiting for a payoff.

You’re waiting for the Resurrection.

You’re waiting for spiritual growth.

And then you realize this isn’t waiting at all.

It’s Life.

It’s Joy.

It’s Opportunity.

It’s Blessing.”


Like John Mayer said but may have expressed more

deeply, “That’s why we’re waiting on the World to change.”



This one focuses on the enjoyable custom shared at work,

in communities or family gatherings. . .


“A Potluck of People”

(Taken from March’s “Spire” church bulletin)


“At many gatherings for potluck dinners which are meals largely

unplanned, when people bring food to share, usually the main

dishes, salads and desserts somehow balance out.  The fun is in

the variety and mixing together on a plate and the surprise factor

of what is brought to share and contribute to the Potluck.


Groups of peoples, churches, communities, families and workplaces

are all “potlucks” of a sort, too. When groups assemble, each person

contributes something unique and sometimes unexpected. When all

is mixed together, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.


A beautiful balance often results:

One is a good singer; the other writes well.

Some are strong leaders; others dependable team members.

Some are traditional; others innovative.

Combined together, it’s ‘delicious.’


Potlucks are sometimes called covered-dish dinners or meals.

But don’t keep your gifts ‘covered.’

Share them because you are a valued part of the whole.”

(Author Unknown)


We used to call our country a “melting pot,” which describes how we

were going to blend together.


I like to think of the World full of diverse cultures, faiths, histories

of countries as part of a “Human Masterpiece.”

(reocochran, 3/15)


When I speak of Lent, Jesus, God, the Bible and verses from it, it

is meant to describe and share the belief system I emerged from.

But any time you see a parallel of your faith with mine, I hope you

will feel free to explain how the theme or subject can be applied in

your family, your church or your culture.


Bridging gaps is my goal and focus, when I post something about

faith. I hope you never feel excluded or isolated, since this is not

what expressing my belief system wishes me to do.


Our Identifying ‘Songs’


A West African tradition that fascinates me, is that when every

woman in their tribe of “Griots” is expecting a baby, they take

time to think and contemplate giving the baby, a ‘song.’ They go

off to meditate and come up with what they feel would be the

specific identifying chant or ‘song’ that will follow the upcoming

baby, throughout his or her life.

Have you ever heard of this tradition? I was so interested in this

and wished to share my source, the May, ’14 “Natural Awakenings”

magazine.  The article’s title is “Live  Your Song: Each of Us

Carries a Unique Inner Tune that Affirms Our True Nature.”

In this article, it explains that each person has a soul, in their

belief system. Each soul has a certain vibration that expresses its

unique and special purpose. It has a ‘flavor’ or ‘essence’ that can

be ‘heard.’

The baby’s birth is greeted by its song, giving it meaning and worth.

The times in the child’s life, where the song plays an important

part are when born, when getting ready to attend school, initiation

into adulthood and the time of marriage. The loving embrace of its

tune and melody is to keep the child feeling valuable and included.

If the child, young adult or grown adult should happen to break the

tribe’s rules or even worse, break a law, the tribe will circle the one

who has fallen away from them, chanting and singing their song.

The hope is that the community’s love will overwhelm the individual

and help them to find their way back to their original path. The final

time the Griot tribe, in West Africa, sings the special song is as family,

friends and the community gather at their bedside, helping them to

pass onto the next world, with the memory of their past life’s song.

I like the idea of a song, that our friends would know and recognize

it as ours. I would hope that we would always feel ‘in tune’ with our

family and friends. When we should ever wander away, move or

change our life’s direction, it would be so comforting to know that

our ‘song’ follows us, wherever we go.

Our ‘song’ would help lead us back home again, knowing the true

love, friendship and sense of belonging is waiting for us.

I had not realized that there are others, scientists and researchers,

who have studied this philosophy and practice of finding one’s ‘song.’

The persons considered “modern pioneers in vibrational energy,”

are Sharry Edwards (bio-acoustic biologist) and Donna Eden (energy

medicine field). They have independently detected that each of us has

a “fundamental signature frequency that can be equated to our unique

song that persists throughout our life.”

Some would say the ocean ‘calls to them,’ others would think that the

railroad train is their sound, with the thumping wheels along the track.

Natural songs can include birds. (That is my ‘song,’ not just because of

my name but the story about my Grandfather’s message sent through

the cardinal’s song).

The two women mentioned, Sharry and Donna, feel we innately seek

certain natural sounds that reinforce and strengthen our song.’

Other examples I read about were the sound of the surf, wind, rain or snow

falling. I could ‘hear,’ or imagine, someone’s ‘song’ in the trees shaking

from the breeze, the shivery feeling of the night sky filled with stars and

the moon. I think that some crave and need the sun’s warmth upon their


Your ‘song’ can be described as, “cell-to-cell vibrations” within ourselves.

We intuitively feel this these vibrations or rhythms as almost magical.


I found this sentence/quotation from the article to be meaningful:

“At one with the universe, our song contributes its part in the infinite

chorus of creation.”


(Quotations and research provided by Jill Mattson)

Please share if you feel you have a ‘song’ and let us know what really

‘moves’ you, intuitively.


The Meaning of Regret


Regret is such a wasted emotion, sucking the full energy

out of one’s day. I think about the really important use

of the word “regret” when it is defined as “to mourn.” This

can come in the form of  that horrible letter or telegram:

“We regret to inform you that your special person

(insert:  son, daughter, husband or other family member)

has been killed in the line of military duty.”

Even then, if you had not known the outcome of the use

of the word “regret,” you would feel the heavy pall of death

come over you.

So, why do we “regret” our actions? Do we really feel that

our mistakes are on an equal or parallel level as death?

When we give up a relationship or marriage, or the other

person does, do we have to have a sense of “regret?” Is that

necessary? If you use the term in this sense, it means “to feel


I have been, throughout my whole life, a rather serious person

who has a lot of fun when she isn’t worrying herself to death!

Yes, there is the word, death! I think that we need to put aside

our fears, worries, concerns, and regrets, allowing JOY to enter

into our lives.

Now, I don’t mean give up on things, don’t allow your job, family

or loved ones to wander around unattended or not cared for!

I just mean, release your fears, worries, concerns and regrets over

to your higher being. Allow God or whoever you follow in your faith

to take over and then, once you are no longer fettered, try to give,

extend yourself and enjoy your life.

Instead of this “selfish” poem I once wrote about a man:

“I need my heart to heal

I opened up more to you than I ever did with


I felt I knew you so quickly,


Best thing…

Please let me get better in~


Say these repentant (last definition of  “regret”) words:

“In the stillness and silence of this


I seek You,

Please forgive me,

Please give me Your gift of Healing.

I want to know You more than any

human being,

I wish to get closer to Thee.”

This is a more sincere, thought out poem

(or make it a prayer by saying Amen.)



p.s. Why do we have such a thing as “Regrets Only”

on party invitations? Such a strange twist on the word

(again) “regret.”

Cardinals send special messages


I was twenty five years old, a mother of a six month old baby girl

and wife of a bartender. My husband had graduated with a

computer science degree, I had met him as a freshman. We lived

about 2 1/2 hours from my parents in Cleveland and his parents

in Cincinnati. It was a cold, wintry November day when I got the


I was holding my daughter and breastfeeding her, when I had to

rush to get the unhappy call from my mother that said my grandfather

was very ill. She apologized knowing that I was very close to him,

saying she only had enough money to pay for herself and my aunt,

her only sister, to fly West to visit him in Arizona.

I called a few friends, asked my mother- and father-in-law, and finally

went to the bank, desperate to get enough money to go to visit my

Grandpa Mattson. I was going to take my six month old daughter, his

only great grandchild. It was so important that I cried at the bank. We

just didn’t have enough credit to get approved for the loan for the ticket.

I went home and complained to my husband, “Why couldn’t your parents

loan me the money? I could pay them back with our income tax money.”

He called them back and told him that it meant the world to me, that this

man had been a lifeline at times, calm, wise and so loving. He had mailed

me letters once a week while I was at Girl Scout camp, away at college and

lately, while I was homebound with my baby in a new town. (Lancaster, OH)

When I got the arrangements all made, I called the Phoenix hospital that

my grandfather was in. I was connected to his room, Mom answered with

a shaky voice. I heard the tears in her voice, it made me choke with my own

tears. My Mom said the dreaded words, “Your Grandpa just died. Don’t come.”

I was bereft. I took the baby and set her down in her crib. I laid on my own

bed and sobbed. My cries were softening into a sleepy place when I heard the

tapping on the window.

I stopped and listened. This is so unearthly possible, because as I turned

towards the sound, I saw red. It was a flicker of red. I went slowly across the

room, peering out between the curtains at the white wintry branches of a tree.

In that tree was a bright red cardinal. This beautiful bird was opening and

closing his beak. I opened the window a crack to hear the song that is usually

its Spring song. (Two long shrill notes and then five staccato shorter notes.)

The tapping you may think was the branch on the tree bumping against the

window. But  I believe it was a soul coming to me bringing me a message of

love tapped out on the window. The song filled my heart with happiness,

replacing my sorrow.


I read not too long after this occurrence about 2 things. The belief in Eastern

religions of incarnation of people’s souls into animal’s/creature’s. And in a

whole different style of literature, Guideposts Magazine, (a 1981 issue, I am

unsure which month) had an article about birds being winged angels carrying

messages to us. Their songs and their cheery appearance can change our blue

days. This cardinal has been a story that has carried over to every move in

my life. The following morning after, I have heard a cardinal’s song. Only

one year, when we moved in November, 1999, there was sleeting rain. I had

not heard the song that gave me reassurance that the move was a “good” one.

I was unpacking a box of my wedding china from that first marriage, Lenox

Interlude, and out of that box, a red feather fluttered out! I ran and told my

sister-in-law, who studies tribes and Native American lore. She was amazed

at the fact I found the red feather and yet, she said, this is the way Mother

Nature might have chosen to pass the message on. When I could not hear the

red bird sing, I could see the red bird feather. It is still in a container on a shelf.

The Man Who Knew My Daughter First (Bill)


During the course of my youngest daughter’s pursuit of money and her future,

she often worked at a wide variety of restaurants and a country club. She is

a social and interactive young person, so her work was quite lucrative. She also

felt close to some of her customers. No one was as close to her over the year she

worked at Bob Evans than a man named Bill.

She would talk to him about her courses, her books she read, her thoughts and

plans. She would fill and refill his coffee cup and listen to him talk to her about

mainly philosophy and becoming a calm and centered adult. She was always

coming home excited about the new words (like Tao and Daoism) and especially

enjoyed the Eastern philosophies he espoused.

Bill became a person who we met once, while my ex-husband and I stopped by

for a meal. He seemed genuinely pleased to meet us and he shook both our

hands. He was wearing a Kentucky hat and that became another subject

entirely that my daughter would hear stories about. He loved to cave and he

was very happy when he was out hiking or in nature. This all seemed to fit

with his studies of philosophy, too.

Once my daughter left the restaurant, there became numerous times that she

would think aloud, “I wonder where Bill worked?’ or “I wonder if he is down

in a cave in Kentucky this summer?”

Later, while in college, my daughter again brought up Bill’s name, “I wish he

could meet my roommate who is from Kentucky.” When she traveled down to

visit Erin’s family, she went to Louisville and listened to some blues and jazz

bands. My daughter recalled Bill talking about music and that he played the

guitar. She called home and said, “I wonder what kind of music he played?”

In a particularly trying semester of Philosophy, my daughter brought up Bill’s

name in a question over the phone, “Do you remember Bill’s last name? I really

need to talk to him about this dumb course I am taking!”

It was different when I started my laborer job, not knowing how to relate to

people until at lunch a last name connected me to someone who was an aunt

of my oldest daughter’s friend. We had another person join our table a second

aunt of the same daughter. I felt comfortable talking to people in my bins order

filling group. I still would not have approached anyone outside our group or ask

any questions about other people.

But, as I would walk into work for first shift, I did notice a man with a Kentucky

hat on. He looked possibly like the man I would have met in 2000, eight long

years ago. So much had happened, as you may recall, losing a house, a husband

and a professional job. I started say, “Good morning!” or “Hello” to this man with

the KY hat just to see if he recognized me. He would greet me with a smile, a nod of

his head or a “Good morning!” back at me. Neither of us were yet aware of the fact we

did know each other.

One morning, a long line at the security desk with a man dumping out all his pockets

and still setting off the beeper,  was getting “wanded,” and behind me a voice yelled out,

“Jeesh, Bill,” and “Leave it to you to make us late, Bill!”

Little tumblers in my brain suddenly came into focus and I knew that was THE Bill!”

How small a world could it be? (to be continued…)