Mary Southard

Music of Life
Children Are Asking
Our Unique Children
Bench of Dreams

“BEHOLD”      God and I sit together contemplating Earth.  God and YOU sit together holding and beholding our Sacred Earth with love and wonder and hope… Earth: living Miracle in the vastness of the Universe, the vast openness of time and space. We marvel, we grieve, we hope, we pray, we wonder…   

“MUSIC OF LIFE”   Every Earth being has a song!  Together we all make the Music of Life sing in the Universe! This painting is of just such an ecstatic experience of playing my Indian flute in our woods on Easter Sunday afternoon a few years back.  Standing in the felt presence of the listening and singing of my friends, the trees, the fresh new leaves, and the birds answering with their own songs. 

“THE CHILDREN ARE ASKING”      And the Parents are asking how to respond to their children’s questions, and talk with them about what is happening to our beautiful Earth.  What does global warming mean?  What made it happen?  Climate anxiety is wide spread.  Why are we afraid?  What can we do?”  

“OUR UNIQUE CHILDREN”  Our Children often give us hope of A FLOURISHING FUTURE.  They need to hear our adult dreams for a flourishing future.  They are not yet hopelessly encased in the blind habits and world views of past generations as we are. They are fascinated by the wonders of creation, open to the experience of a Sacred Earth.  They are able to see and encounter one another without fearing differences.


Here is something we can all “do” to help heal our breaking hearts and our world. The painting we see here was inspired by a ritual, “A Bench of Dreams”, which a 14 year old girl from Holland taught Robert Muller who later shared it with me. A Bench of Dreams was installed by Dr. Muller in the beautiful hills of the University of Peace in Costa Rica where he was Chancellor after he finished his term as Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations.

“Your bench of dreams will be a special place of quiet and beauty, a place in the natural world where you can spend some time and become attentive to the dreams being dreamed within you and within the Earth—dreams for yourself, your family, your world.

Select two small stones.  Hold them in your hand while you express your fondest dreams…Then toss one stone into the garden where Earth will hold your dream, and put the other stone in your pocket to take with you.  Make a special place in your home for your dream stone and hold your dreams in your heart even as Earth holds them. . .

In the words of Thomas Berry, “In moments of confusion such as the present, we are not left simply to our own rational contrivances. We are supported by the ultimate powers of the Universe as they make themselves present to us through the spontaneities within our own being.  We need only become sensitized to these spontaneities…” he says.  The re-shaping of our culture…”must emerge from revelatory vision that comes to us in those special psychic moments, or conditions, that we describe as dream. . .the non-rational process that occurs when we awaken to the numinous power ever present in the phenomenal world about us, powers that possess us in our high creative moments.” (Thomas Berry, The Dream of The Earth p.205)

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