Friday, August 24, 2018

midwest wandering






I believe there are places in this world that possess inherent beauty regardless of our ability to see.  And it falls to us not to chide this world for her lack of beauty but to seek out our own eyes for seeing it. 

Near the end of his life the founder of the Appalachian Trail, Benton Mackay, was asked what had been the goal of his project, he answered simply this: 

To see. To walk. To see what you see.

He believed in movement not as an escape, but an immersion.

I cannot remember a time when I did not feel the urge to move.  It is in my bloodline.  I have to look back beyond five generations to find an ancestor who lived out her life in the place she was born.  They weren’t nomads, but seekers, following paths that promised better lives.  But also, I cannot recall a time when I was without the longing to settle deeply in a place I could call my own – for the rest of my life.  Thus the paradox I inherited, that I have lived, the reason for moving is always to find a better place to stay.

That paradox finds me here, in a place called the Midwest.  A place where I have come to identify with a region more than a town, where boundaries mean less than the spaces that cross them.  This is the land of wide vistas and immense skies.  And a place where what is familiar transcends what is not.  I had to earn that transcendence through the exercise of seeing. And from that pursuit emerged Midwest Wandering a collection of writings born out of my desire to “see what I see” to discover the beauty in places unknown to me.  Through this pursuit, and without quite realizing it, I began also to satisfy those urges to both move and stay.  Staying has taught me how to move with intention and how to see as I go - how to live in the space between the new and the known.      

Midwest Wandering, previously titled Favorite Finds Friday, is an ever growing collection of reflections on the places I am most enamored with, places that have taught me or inspired me, touched me with their beauty or the experience they offer; but re-framed based on the realization that what I desire to document is not necessarily a list of favorites, but a record of experience.



To see

To walk


To see what you see








I'd love for you to join me: 
Midwest Wandering



With gratitude,

Jo


{Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike  {muir}

Saturday, August 4, 2018

glory {crafted by the seasons}






This is summer her glory.  When I love the wind because it is only a strong breeze and when the low sunlight reveals the patterns in the green of the leaves and catches in the loose bark of the birch trees and the almost red of the tomatoes and everything glimmers together - when my yard is my sanctuary. 


Summer reveals paths into the unknown.  But it is when I come home that I feel its rhythm, its subtle changes, and the September wind that sneaks in to rustle July leaves.  Summer is not my favorite season, but it is the one I most desire to hold in my grasp.  It is the season when everything is fully alive, breathing in as much life as is possible.  And I wish to breathe in as much plump warm air as I am able; if I could only hold it in my lungs for exhale on that not distant enough day, a few months from now when this world will lay under a thick blanket of white.

But I know, as I must accept in every season of summer, that that is not the way of nature’s wisdom; her wisdom that reveals itself in subtle encounters that prompt our attention and feed our senses, and always she ushers us through the gateway that leads to the next season of glory. 

And so we begin again, picking up the rhythm in the place we find ourselves, in the place we allow ourselves to be found.  Maybe it is on a just warm enough summer evening aglow with light and play and promise or a on dim morning stinging with an unforgiving chill, if you wait for the rhythm to find you it always will.





With gratitude,

Jo