On Holy Ground

The labyrinth at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum, Washington.

The labyrinth at H.J. Carroll Park in Chimacum, Washington, the way it looks most of the time.

On New Year’s Eve, I took a morning drive out to H.J. Carroll Park to help repair the labyrinth.

A day or two before Christmas, news had spread among local labyrinthers that the meditative path in the park was all kerfuffled.

Someone—likely more than one person—had come into the secluded glade, pushed stones around, cut branches off encircling cedars, and spread the branches on the labyrinth floor. [Read more…]

Happy Birthday to the Courtyard!

Can it possibly be six years? When I look through the Courtyard archives, I know it’s true. We launched this site in Advent 2006. Now Advent 2012 is just around the corner. And yet, the work still feels new to me … maybe because it is constantly re-inventing itself.

[Read more…]

Does a Dog Have Buddha Nature?

Bingo on the Labyrinth

Bingo in the courtyard labyrinth at my home parish, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend.

I like my routines. Our dog Bingo likes his routines, too.

He wants us to do the same stuff every morning—say hello, take a walk, eat breakfast, settle into the day.

It’s just that Bingo wants to do these things as if we really mean it.

[Read more…]

Blessing Teamwork

On a PilgrimageMay flowers spring up where your feet
touch the earth.

May the feet that walked before you
bless your every step.

Macrina Wiederkehr

Those are the first two lines of the blessing that Macrina Wiederkehr sent her friend Joyce Rupp before Rupp set out to walk the ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago. [Read more…]

Happy Birthday to the Courtyard!

Happy Birthday to the Courtyard — five years old this month!

In 2011, we added new liturgical prayers by Ann Raymond and poetry by Christine Hemp and Bill Maxwell, as well as prayers, poetry, reflections, and homilies by yours truly.

New voices joined with old friends on the Lectio+Haiku page, including retreat participants from The Priory Spirituality Center in Lacey, Washington and Stillpoint at Beckside in Bellingham, Washington. It’s always a blessing — and so much fun! — to introduce this creative spiritual practice to new people.

[Read more…]

Turning 60

Me and David at a river outside Puerto Vallerta, Mexico, shortly before my 60th birthday

Turned 60 last month.

That 6 felt kinda big. Drew me to look back over the accumulated years with a sense of wonder and even startled disbelief. Started picking over all the stuff, places I’d lived, relationships come and gone, choices that led down unexpected paths. (Do any of life’s paths turn out as expected?)

Then something—maybe it was the startled disbelief—made me turn, look the other way, and wonder, What will my life will be like five years from now? [Read more…]

Mother’s Pearl Pin

Mother's pearl pin and blue scarfI walk under tall hemlocks, opening and closing the black umbrella borrowed from my brother’s hall closet, cutting through the small park at the end of his street before circling back to the house.

cold mist
round a shaded pond
after mom’s service
ducks swim away from me
while ripples widen
[Read more…]

Happy Birthday to the Courtyard!

Happy Birthday to the Courtyard—four years old and growing!

For its birthday this year the Courtyard got a makeover, and proud Mom (that would be me) thinks the kid is looking pretty good. [Read more…]

The Beauty of Holiness

Illuminated Labyrinth at St. Paul’s

On September 23, 2010 (the evening of the harvest moon), Christine Hamby, with the help of labyrinth-lovers from the parish, created this illuminated labyrinth in the Parish Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington. [Read more…]