Camino de Santiago

Month: January, 2017

Get Some Distance


20160628-st-helens-john-and-st-helensOur little granddaughter Kay, like so many children these days, is in love with the Disney movie, “Frozen”. She loves hearing the song, “Let It Go”. The following lyrics in this song caused me to think about how true it is that getting some distance can be a healthy medicine for us:

“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small and the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all” (lyrics from “Let it Go” by Idina Menzel)

Walking the Camino, Terri and I experienced the value of distance from our everyday life because it was a true breakaway experience. You get a new perspective when you separate yourself away. It is a healthy thing for us to do this, I believe. The distance gives us perspective for some reason. In this long walk I was able to see more clearly my life as a retired Boeing engineer. My 40 years of working at Boeing began to been seen from a distance. My fears of what a retired life was going be like, began to fade as I became more excited about being retired.

I know that for some folks there is a lot of fear and anxiety about what is going to happen next,  now that we have a new President in office. My recommendation for you is to put  “some distance” on it. How do you do that? How about spending some time away from your daily routine and turn off the news. If possible get out into nature and into some winter silence. I think it helps to get up high in the mountains, so you can look back down and see how things look different. Not sure why this all helps but my experience is that it does.

I will end this little blog today with a quote from Frank Borman of the Apollo 8 mission;

“The view of the Earth from the Moon fascinated me — a small disk, 240,000 miles away. It was hard to think that that little thing held so many problems, so many frustrations. Raging nationalistic interests, famines, wars, pestilence don’t show from that distance.”



Photograph of the Week

Eagle Guardians of the Skagit

I posted this image I created from a photograph of three eagles sitting high in a tree near the town of Bow, in the Skagit Valley. I posted it on my Blue Skies Photography Facebook page but wanted to share if with those who did not see it there. It is one of my favorite images I created recently.



When It’s All Been Said And Done


During our Camino walk and our recent trip to Scotland and Ireland, we visited a number of very old graveyards (The image above was created a photograph I captured from the Isle of Iona off the coast of Scotland). Maybe it was the combined effect of visiting of these ancient grave sites and a song I was listening to recently called “When It’s All Been Said And Done” that got me to a reflective mood about my own death. I was thinking on the importance of never taking any of our moments we have here for granted. We really do not have the much time here on earth.

“When it’s all been said and done, all my treasures will mean nothing” goes one of the verses of the song. The expression “there are U-Haul’s behind hearses” comes to mind for me. Here is a good reminder for me as I pile up more stuff and those things I think I can not live without. When it’s all been said and done, will they say I loved my family more than my stuff? Will they say I was a faithful and true husband, father, grandfather and friend? What will be remembered of me ,when all’s said and done?

This year I became aware of an international speaker, author and business consultant named Matthew Kelly from Sydney, Australia. He has dedicated his life to helping people and organizations “to become the best versions of themselves“.

This is what I want to strive for in 2017 and they years I have left. To become the best version of myself so when it’s all been said and done, I will have no regrets and my Savior will say, “Well done, John!”.



Photograph of the Week

Ancient Celtic Stones

The image was created from a photograph taken in the Glencolmcille region of Ireland (Northwest coast). The are a number of these very old marker stones in this area of Ireland. Glencolmcille has a very ancient past with farmers settling in this valley as far back as 3000BC.