"No service is too small when given mindfully, with good intention and an open heart."

WHY I DO THIS: It's rewarding helping a friendor anyone, in needwith NEIGHBORCARE. My mother was a great teacher. She taught me at a young age to lend a helping hand. I've made many friends and will have memories to cherish for a lifetime.


Earth has done it again! How she manages to restore herself, despite the blasts she sustains from human(not always so)kind, is to me the WORLD'S EIGHTH WONDER, not to mention inspiration and gift. Our relationship with her beauty-our attunement to it-can sustain us all of our lives. Recently, I attended a memorial service for an artist I knew but hadn't seen in years. Days I did know M., she was painting flowers in realistic and exquisite detail, studying them, being with them, with such intensity that she could not be counted on to arrive on time for scheduled appointments. (The story was told about her that, one day, after saying she was off to do some errands, she was seen home earlier than expected, scrutinizing a flower in the garden. The amazed family member witnessing this event called out to her, "Back so soon?!" and received what should not have been the surprising reply: "Haven't left yet!")At the memorial service, slides of M.'s most recent paintings were shown, these completed-most of them-during the years she was ill with cancer. The paintings featured skies. Magnificent, color-rich, ethereal skies. Morning skies. Afternoon skies. Evening skies. Bravo! I thought. What a finale. Talk about being where you are and living in the moment! In my mind's eyes, I pictured M. (perhaps realizing, perhaps not) turning from Earth and tuning to the heavens, honoring—creating—the trajectory of her life.

—Those of you following the story of Abraham, the young man from the Sudan who was resettled in Vermont following ten years of indescribable hardship, might be glad to hear that Abraham and his brother and sister could be coming to Maine for a visit in August. A pot luck would be nice then, don't you think, in celebration of these deserving young people? Let me know if you'd like to participate

—Our (dear) Neighborcare Friend, Theresa Hancock Atwood, died peacefully at 4:30 a.m., April 8th. Theresa was buried in a cemetery overlooking the river in her beloved Bucksport, where she had lived contentedly for many years. Her burial service was personal but not sticky sweet, which she would have abhorred-this, despite the singing by a few of us of one of her favorite songs Qu³ Serą . . .and the reading of a cherished Wordsworth poem, To a Daffodil, which Theresa could recite by memory well into her 103rd year.Thank you so much, all of you who helped sustain her.

—Once again, I encourage you to involve your guests in your caregiving. Perhaps they will be inspired to take the NEIGHBORCARE model home with them, planting it like a seed in their own community to add to good already blooming there. May I send the NEIGHBORCARE newsletter to someone you know in another area of Maine, or in another state, using your name? (I would give that person opportunity to be removed from our mailing list-and never is our list sold, rented or given to any other.) Simply email me or mail me names and addresses.

Perhaps it is hoping itself, not only seeing the results of our hoping, that provides a glorious good.
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. . . . I can feel the suffering of millions, and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquillity will return again. In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out."
from The Diary of Anne Frank

FROM THE KITCHEN  Brown strips of seitan (or chicken or tofu) in olive oil. Remove from skillet. Saut³ minced garlic cloves, chopped celery and onions, grated ginger, sliced shitaki mushrooms, cubed eggplant. Add in sunflower seeds and calamata olives. Sprinkle in caram masala, black pepper, dill and stir, adding water and simmering to make an instant vegetable broth. Dissolve kudzu in cold water. Add this to the mixture and stir over low heat till mixture thickens (gorgeously!—ooh, that kudzu). Spoon over brown rice pasta. Before serving this tasty dish, and while it is still hot, top with crumbly (not sticky) sheeps milk feta.

BOOK: Healing With Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford. The best of its kind that I've come across. Pitchford explains the energies of food, the relationships between the energy of food to the energy of the body, and so much more in such simple terms. The recipes, themselves, are worth the price of the book. 8½ x 11 format. 600+ pages. $25.00+. WEBSITE: Holistic Cancer Solutions (HCS) is based on a Network of holistic medical doctors and research scientists whose collective knowledge about the latest, evidence-based non-toxic and natural treatments has been collected into an Information Library.
WEBRADIO: what it sounds like. Not to be missed . . .

A SMALL AND SIMPLE THING  Years ago, on several windowsills—and a table—in our cabin house, I stacked flat stones I had gathered for this purpose. Since that time, mice have knocked the stones over, and my Ozzie-dog's tail wagging, and my curious grandson's small fingers, and screen doors slamming. Hearing them fall, I measure the tone and movement of my days by how soon, and how peacefully, and how tall, I stack them all again.

"If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for."  Thomas Merton

FROM THE NOT-A-DOCTOR  Well, again this spring, I was a favorite picnic site for blackflies-mosquitoes now taking their turn. Praises be to pure lavender oil. A few drops diluted in an ounce of carrier oil—organic almond is lovely—removes the itching for a very good while.

DOGCARE TIP:  If, heaven forbid, your dog gets skunked, try Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap. (Rave reviews) And, remember not to leave your dog (cat, child) in a hot car. Tragically, many have died. (Windows left slightly open hardly help.) In all things-daily gifts of clean and plentiful water, nourishing food, respect and affection-we are the source of good for the animals in our care.

LIVING QUESTIONS  "Does my behavior in respect of love effect nothing? That is because there is not enough love in me. Am I powerless against the untruthfulness in the lives which have their being all around me? The reason is that I myself am not truthful enough. Have I to watch dislike and illwill carrying on their sad game? That means that I myself have not yet completely laid aside small-mindedness and envy. Is my love of peace misunderstood and scorned? That means that I am not yet sufficiently peace-loving."  —Albert Schweitzer

—Once in a while, we receive NEIGHBORCARE requests from people who have friends or members of their church groups happy to help them. The callers explain that their friends (and/or church group members) have already helped and it seems too much to trouble them more. Or sometimes these callers have never asked anything of their friends. Pondering this, I recall feelings of scarcity I felt when I was a teenager, not choosing to wear a dress I loved for fear I would have no best dress when the occasion arose that would demand it. Listening to the NEIGHBORCARE requests, I wonder how often fear plays a part here, too. I wonder whether or not people are afraid they will drive their friends/neighbors away and they will have no one in reserve. I ask myself: "What is a friend? How can we serve one another—find one another—in truer ways? How can we create a world where all feel secure they will never be left behind, even though their need may be great?"
"Compassion operates at the same level as celebration because what is of most moment in compassion is not feelings of pity but feelings of togetherness. It is this awareness of togetherness that urges us to rejoice at another's joy (celebration) and to grieve at another's sorrow. Both dimensions, celebration and sorrow, are integral to true compassion. And this, above all, separates pity from compassion, for it is seldom that we would invite someone we had pity on to a common celebration . . .There can be no compassion without celebration and there will be no authentic celebration that does not result in increased compassionate energies." Matthew Fox

SONG OF THE SPIRIT There is a tribe in East Africa in which . . . the birth date of a child is not counted from the day of its physical birth nor even the day of its conception, as in other village cultures. For this tribe the birth date comes the first time the child is a thought in its mother's mind. Aware of her intention to conceive a child with a particular father, the mother then goes off to sit alone under a tree. There she sits and listens until she can hear the song of the child that she hopes to conceive. Once she has heard it, she returns to her village and teaches it to the father so that they can sing it together as they make love, inviting the child to join them. After the child is conceived, she sings it to the baby in her womb. Then she teaches it to the old women and midwives of her village, so that throughout the labor and at the miraculous moment of birth itself, the child is greeted with its song. After the birth, all the villagers learn the song of their new member and sing it to the child when it falls or hurts itself. It is sung in times of triumph, or in rituals and initiations. This song becomes a part of the marriage ceremony when the child is grown, and at the end of life, his or her loved ones will gather around the deathbed and sing this song for the last time.   —Jack Kornfield

PLANTCARE TIPS  Try a light, diluted spray of Murphy's Oil Soap and water, for white flies, aphids, etc. And when you fertilize container plants: water first, this so residues from previous feedings remaining in a dry root ball won't prevent nutrients from being absorbed—"watering first" washes away these residues. Another good reason to do it is this: the salts already present in the soil in combination with those you're adding in the nutrient solution could burn some sensitive feeder roots.
A REMINDER: Do remember the effect you have, always, on life around you. A friend and I were discussing the benefits of healing intention and therapeutic touch. My friend had been taking a correspondence course for which she was asked to grow seeds in two containers. The only difference in care the two groups of seeds were to receive was the amount of personal attention allotted to them: hands held near, glad compliments offered. One pot of seeds received abundant attention—the other, none. Without question, the pot of seeds receiving the attention grew hardier, taller and more vibrantly than the pot of seeds which did not receive attention.
"[S]olitude is only a human presumption; Every quiet step is thunder to beetle life underfoot . . ." Barbara Kingsolver


took place in my home on Wednesday, June 26th. Again several of us—a new face, or two, this time—shared fine food and talk and addressed NEIGHBORCARE newsletters.

Not necessarily the same people will be gathering each time.
Don't think for a minute you have to be a signed-up volunteer to be part of our group.


Blessings all around you—this summer and in every season,
maggie davis, for NEIGHBORCARE

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maggie davis
PO Box 370, Blue Hill, ME 04614-0370

Copyright © 1998 - 2019 maggie davis. All Rights Reserved.