weareallpilgrims

Camino de Santiago

Month: August, 2016

It is always about the people

People Make Glasgow

After a long day of travel we arrived in Glasgow, Scotland today. We look forward to the four days we have in this city to learn about its beauty and culture. I saw in the town square that is in front of our hotel these banners “People Make Glasgow”. I loved that. Terri and are are so excited to get to know the people of these two great countries, Scotland and Ireland. We will see some awesome scenery and architecture  for sure, but, I agree, it is “all about the people” that we meet that will really make this trip special.

It reminds me of a quote (ok, I know I am a bit over obsessive on this quote thing these days) but I have to conclude today’s blog with this great one to ponder.

“God is found between people” (Martin Buber, distinguished Jewish Rabbi)

Blessings,

John

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Appreciate the Imperfect Too

160829-Vancouver-82-glow on water

The image above was made during a walk yesterday around the beautiful waterfront area of Vancouver, BC. I was intrigued with colorful houseboat in the harbor but my eye was then drawn to the very imperfect color, light, shadow and texture of the reflection of the colorful houseboat on the harbor waters.

I realized how important it is to also see the beauty in the imperfect as we do live in a imperfect world. We stayed the night in a Airbnb last night and the owner of the apartment was meticulously clean and minimalist in style (not anything like our home). It was a “picture perfect” apartment that you would see in a magazine.

Yet life is not like this. Life is not always “picture perfect”. This great trip to Scotland and Ireland has been well planned and organized yet it will be imperfect. There will be “stuff that happens” that is not according to plan. It is important I believe to expect this to happen. Happiness lies in accepting limits and imperfections. “Everything has a shadow” as my favorite spiritual writer, Fr. Ron Rolheiser says.

Terri and I plan to embrace the imperfections and shadow of this trip!

Blessings,

John

Watch Great Stories or Live Them

160112-Ebey Island-10-final

“It is easier to watch great stories than to live them”  (David Du Chemin)

Terri and I are on our way to “living out a great story” today. We are on a train today to Vancouver, BC and then tomorrow we head out to Glasgow to begin our two week tour of Scotland with Road Scholar. Following our Scotland tour we will continue our “great story” with a three week adventure in Ireland!

Lots of people have asked me if I was going to keep a blog going during our Scotland/Ireland adventure. After pondering for a bit I decided that I would try and keep up the “We Are All Pilgrims” Camino Blog during our adventure, since I am sure we will be experiencing some amazing stories in the next six weeks and because I found great joy sharing our stories with everyone during the Camino.

Both Terri and I are anxious and excited, as would be expected,  because it is indeed harder to live a great story than to watch it as my favorite photographer, David Du Chemin said.

Let our “Great Scotland/Ireland Story” begin!

Blessings,

John

Photograph of the Week

Ptarmigan Ridge ViewsPtarmigan Ridge Views

I made this photograph of the week from a hike this past week to Ptarmigan Ridge. This is a beautiful hike you can take right from the Artist Point parking lot at the Mt Baker Ski area. What a wonderful hike that I will remember for a long time!

The pain passes, but the beauty remains

150323-Sauer Mt-5-Renoir

The famous painter, August Renoir, was crippled with arthritis for the last 20 years of his life yet he continued to paint when it meant that he had to have the paintbrush tied to his hand as well as getting some assistance to help him to move from one position to the next. When asked why he kept torturing himself in this way. He famously answered, “The pain passes, but the beauty remains”.

This quote just stuck with me the moment I read it. It is very profound and filled with meaning. I was thinking how it applies to so many aspects of life.

The recent birth of our second granddaughter, certainly brought this to mind as our daughter, Julia, gave birth naturally to her daughter, Freya. The pain eventually did pass but, oh how beautiful is that little baby! I was also thinking of her as she and her husband, Paul, are in the “sleepless in Seattle” mode right now. Baby Freya is hungry and needs her regular feedings every 2 to 3 hours. Definitely there is pain in the lack of sleep but oh, the beauty of a healthy newborn baby!. In fact, all parenting is like this, part pain of doing the right thing for them and sacrificing to give them the best  and hold them to  be the best, knowing that there is a purpose, to see them grow into the healthy and beautiful person they were meant to be!

Walking the Camino de Santiago, was certainly filled with pain and indeed the pain did pass (although for Terri it lingered longer with her injuries), but there was also the beauty of it that has also endured. As I have mentioned, before in past blog articles, both Terri and I have never regretted walking the Camino. It gave us such an appreciation of so many of things in life and what is really important. In writing this blog, for almost 2 years now,  the “beauty of the Camino” has been revealed to me more and more!

There is a hidden mystery often in the pain we endure, if we believe in the beauty that is being made and will remain!

Blessings,

John

P.S. Image in this blog was my “tribute” to Renoir from a photo I took last year on a hike to Sauer Mountain.

Photograph of the Week

Full Moon Rising

Taken during a camping trip to Lake Osoyoos. I used my Nikon Superzoom camera to capture the moon rise over the distant tree-filled hillside. I utilized my creative processing tools to make this final image.