I've been think about words of wisdom lately. This is partly because I've been reading a Henry Nouwen book from the 1970's. If the copyright wasn't in the book cover you'd never know that the original text was that old. In With Open Hands, Nouwen has written about prayer based on scripture. The categories of silence, acceptance, hope, and compassion are giving me much wisdom to reflect on. 

Secondly, my oldest child will graduate from high school next month. Knowing the graduation ceremony is ahead of us I've tried to recall my own high school graduation. What were the words of wisdom that were laid upon me that day? Sadly I have no idea. My son has already many choices in life that are wiser than what I did at his age. I am thankful for his 18 year old version of wisdom.

Thirdly, a bird has built a new nest inside an old nest on top of our studio back door. I wonder if this is wisdom from the aviary world--kind of a reduce/reuse/recycle mentality? Or maybe this robin is wise simply because this is a proven, safe and secure spot to bring new life into the world.

All of this led me to the new limited edition green stole we're working on. As you can see the lower fabric is a beautiful floral design accented with an outline of gold. The flowers struck me as a fitting motif for Ordinary Time because we focus our energies on Christian growth. So what to use as the symbol on the upper portion became the question. We've decided to use the Christian "fish", the symbol of the first believers. The fish outline was a wise symbol for the early Christian church to adopt. Not only was fish a common food of the day, it was also used by Jesus during His ministry. It is a very simple shape to draw - just two curved strokes. It could be drawn quickly, and erased just as quickly if there was no sign of recognition on the part of the stranger when a Christian was trying to determine alliance. For the early Christians their choice to follow Jesus might have been dangerous. This stole's design can be a visual reminder that we are called to follow regardless of our life circumstances. Maybe it will make others wonder what that is really to mean as they make daily choices. We'll be adding a cross to this stole and then look forward to offering it on our website with several other options for Ordinary Time.

I am not always "wise" but am grateful to be surrounded by examples such as these that I can strive for.