mission * capistrano

I was blessed to spend the day at the Mission San Juan Capistrano where I spent time reflecting on what it means to create a space for peace & embrace the peace that transcends understanding.


The mission is known for its annual migration of swallows.  The mission bell rings in honor of their return –  the same date every year – March 19. 


I didn’t see any swallows or jug-shaped mud-nests, but it’s August, after all.


I enjoyed walking on the curving sand-paths.  A dry, hot noon sun rose overhead.  The heat reminded of baking bread – indeed, I passed an outdoor stone hearth with a rusted iron kettle on it, large enough for me to stand in, then I passed a round oven, like an igloo, with broken coal inside. 


I followed the mica-flecked path around one stone-and-stucco fountain with lilies and koi, then another with lilies equally beautiful, and came to rest at the foot of two large stones.  I touched each stone with my hands: If the stones could speak


Two scaly sand lizards sun-bathed on the edge of the path, looking quiet & content, blinking & breathing.


Here’s what a sign said by the two large stones:  Olive Mill

Built around the 1880s and reconstructed in the 1930s, this unconventional, two-wheel olive mill was used to crush olives for juice extraction.  Evidence indicates that the pulp produced was pressed in a room within the west wing industrial complex.  Processed olive juice was used to produce olive oil for cooking, lamps, medicines, and protective balm.

Olive oil… holy oil, the blessed oil, the oil for anointing the sick, the healing oil, the olive trees Jesus loved centuries ago, how old they must be today, if still alive: about two thousand years.

I thought of holy tongues of fire coming to rest over the believers’ heads in Acts 2:3-4.

Prayer:   To embrace blessings that come from the Holy Spirit to bless our own lives & loved ones, too.  To embrace blessings that come to bless others.  To be a vessel of grace with a diversity of tongues.


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