Our holy places

One positive aspect of the lockdown, and what is allowed, is the extra time spent walking in nature. (I am not sure that his interpretation is, strictly speaking,  etymologically correct, but it predates him by some centuries and is a nice idea)

Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.

John Muir, 1838 – 1914

Sunday Quote: Celebrate this Day

May anxiety never linger about you.  May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul. Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention. Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.  May you experience each day as a sacred gift,  woven around the heart of wonder.

John O’Donohue, For Presence

The strength to survive

In the light of all that is happening this year and this week, we all need to keep our hopes alive

There is an Ethiopian legend about a shepherd  boy Alemayu that speaks to me of the power of hope. Alemayu had to spend the night on a bitterly cold mountain. He had only a very thin cloth to wear. To the amazement of all the villagers, he returned alive and well. When they asked him how he survived, he replied: ” ‘The night was bitter. When all the sky was dark, I thought I would die. Then far, far off I saw a shepherd’s fire on another mountain. I kept my eyes on the red glow in the distance, and I dreamed of being warm. And that is how I had the strength to survive.

Each one of us has a  “shepherd’s fire on another mountain” that has kept our hope alive.  This fire has given us the courage to recover our lost self and believe in the dreams that stir in our soul.

Joyce Rupp, Dear Heart, Come Home

Sunday Quote: Simplicity

All Saints Day, starting a month were there is an emphasis on simplifying, remembering and integrating, imitating the slower pace of nature. This is somewhat different to the current fashion of accumulating and rushing around at this time, as the main shopping festivals arrive.

Maybe a side effect of the pandemic this year will be to slow things down and remind us of what is important

The man to whom little is not enough

will not benefit from more.

Saint Columbanus, 540 – 615, Irish monk, missionary and founder of monasteries.

One is satisfied not by the quantity of foodbut by the absence of greed

Gurdjieff, 1866- 1949