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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


There's something about foraging in the woods.
I love to go out on a frosty day, clippers in hand, looking for a bit of twig and greenery.
This is where I meditate...
on life, on love, on ideas, on all of the problems of the world.
I like to think of it as my church.
A few years ago, we had a woman staying here from Australia.
She was traveling the world and a little bit lost.
She had found, what she thought, was somewhat of an answer to her troubles.
It was a ministry, complete with DVDs that she had purchased while at one of their retreats.
When she offered to play them for me, one day, I told her that I was about to go for a walk with Griffin
and would she like to come.
As we walked along, she talked about her depression and loneliness and how the ministries message was helping her.
I told her I was happy for her.
She asked me about my faith.
I told her that I had been brought up Catholic and was expected to go to mass on Sunday.
When I was 15, my brother, sister and I approached our parents.
Safety in numbers, you know...
We told them that we weren't satisfied with the church and asked if it would be o.k to explore other means of worship.
They respected our wishes and to this day, I still feel most at peace in the out of doors.
Don't get me wrong, for I respect those who find solace within their congregations.
I can still walk into a place of worship and feel that calm.
Some of the most beautiful buildings on earth are ancient churches, mosques and cathedrals.
But like I said, the woods, the sky, the ocean and high hilltops, give me faith.
So today with my bounty, I bring a little of that world home to my porch to begin the celebration of light,
in this dark time of the year.
Red Osier...
 Ornamental crab apple...
(known to be the best thing, still, to card wool)
And some fairy lights to top it off...
At the end of my walk with the Australian woman, she turned to me and said
"I understand why you call these woods 'Your church'."


the wild magnolia said...

You cannot know what a timely sharing your words and photographs were for me today, in this moment.

Thank you for sharing the beauty and the big baby in the first photo!


Christina said...

my friend,
this sounds very much, like our souls find peace in the same places of nature. and the water, oh how i love walking along it.

Anonymous said... the elements of nature we can experience the complex interconnectedness of everything as well as the simple purity of life......
For me also, nature is "the church".
Thanks for sharing

Ciara said...

Beautiful post, Kerry. Incredible pictures that reflect so perfectly your sentiments. Ones that make so much more sense to me (as a lapsed Catholic too!) than any other type of congregation.
And what a fantastic festive display! Might have to steal your idea! Cx

Marylinn Kelly said...

My father wrote of travel around California, along back roads. Nature was as close as he came to religion and among the redwoods, in particular, I knew that to be true. Your photos and writing really do take me from my seat here in our town and carry me far afield, seeing new beauty, finding restoration.

Sherry O'Keefe said...