Today’s post is by Mary van Balen My friend Kathryn and I successfully navigated the Metro this morning and made our way to the Musée d’Orsay. Originally it was a railway station that included a hotel and reception room, but as train transportation changed, the station was gradually abandoned. In 1977 the French government decided […]
Today’s post is by Margaret Benefiel “Rebuild my church.” God used these words from Francis of Assisi’s story to speak to me as I sat in prayer with two spiritual companions in Greensboro, North Carolina, after a heartbreaking disillusionment. I had left a job that I had thought was my dream job, my dream shattered. […]
Article by Carole Crumley (in January 2017 eNews) This past month, it seems that everything in my life has been in motion. Trips to stores, shops, the post office have multiplied exponentially. Precious visits to family and friends have kept us on the road. Christmas scripture readings have magnified this sense of movement. A young […]
Today’s post is by Liz Ward It all started with Michelangelo’s statue of David. While delighting in the beauty of Florence as a carefree nineteen-year-old, I was drawn to visit this famous statue. As I gazed at the vibrant, living, marble, time melted away and suddenly the afternoon was almost over. This was when I […]
Today’s post is by Jamie Deering. Nature. Wild and free. Tempestuous and Serene. Open and Life-giving. Healing. This could describe nature anywhere, and for me, it describes the wonder and magnificence of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. I’ve lived in desert, middle ground, and for the last 33 years, mountain, sea and open air. […]
Article by Peter Crosby (from July 2016 eNews) “What is the purpose of your visit to Scotland?” My first thought in response to the standard question at the border was, “Pilgrimage and the refreshment of my spirit!” However, my second thought was, “That’s way more than what is being asked!” So I just replied, “Holiday.” […]
Nature heals. Numerous articles have reported on research documenting various healing properties of nature. Those recovering from surgery heal faster and with fewer relapses when they see a tree instead of a brick wall from their hospital window. Residents in Toronto reported feeling better and having fewer health problems when there were more trees on their street. Gardeners were no doubt affirmed to hear that a strain of bacterium in the soil triggers the release of serotonin that in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Children who grow up on farms are less likely to develop asthma. The microbes in the soil beneath our feet contribute to our health by way of the foods we eat.
I find these studies fascinating; I love being reminded of the synergies of all living things. Still I wonder what more is possible.
Today’s post is by Bill Stone
People come to Scotland looking for all sorts of things. When I first moved to Scotland six years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had traveled here twice on vacation and fallen in love with both the people and the place itself. But I also knew that living here would be much different from visiting for a week. There were a lot of unanswered questions floating through my head as I boarded a one-way flight into Edinburgh that August, but I was sure that this was where I was called to be.
The weeks that followed were a whirlwind of activity as I began a new job, moved into a new home, and obtained (after several failed attempts) a new bank account and mobile phone. In those early and hectic days I would often head up into the hills surrounding the town for some peace and quiet. Here I could rest. Here I could (literally) get a new perspective on things. Here, amidst the gorse bushes and the rowan trees, I had found my thin place—where the boundary between heaven and earth was especially transparent. Hill walking became a habit for me, and I came to regard my time there as sacred.
Article by Carole Crumley (featured in September 2014 eNews) We live in what some have called “threshold times,” not just a time of change. We are in an era of profound re-ordering of the social, political, economic, religious and spiritual landscape. In this contemporary context, the ancient-yet-ever-new practice of pilgrimage is undergoing a remarkable resurgence. […]
By Nancy Corson Carter I’ve just come in from our North Carolina garden where I tried not to notice the spreading weeds and where I repeated a wonderful practice Carole Crumley led us in as part of each morning’s Simple Presence on Iona. We faced the directions, each one bearing a specific gift, and brought […]