Wide Open Space


I love the seasonal photo on the homepage of my website. The artist is our daughter, Mary Ellen Chiles.


I haven’t posted since the end of the school year. This summer has been one of exploration of the wide possibilities of life and faith. Travel, writing, conversation, library books, wellness. Canning pickles. Family gatherings. Relationship building and reflection. Quiet prayers. Lectio Divina. Spiritual Direction. Walks.


On a practical matter, we’ve worked on an in-house remodel to our place and are very close to moving to a different home in the center of the Farm. Saying goodbye to one garden and hello to another is always a meaningful step for me. I’ll gather some of my native plants—seeds and starts—to get rooted in the new place, the original Farmhouse.


I am a bit sad to say goodbye to our orchard.


In addition to the wide-open sky above our place, I’ve been paying attention to the trees. They’ve withstood the weather.


A favorite passage for my summer lectio has been the beginning section of Psalm 1 that talks about how we are blessed by carefully curating what we listen to and watch. The introduction of the passage warns of a progression of walking alongside, standing with, and finally sitting down with sinners and scoffers and mockers. Pay attention. The way can be, as old timers used to say, “a slippery slope.”  


So, what’s the reward for paying careful attention to where you are and who you chose to accompany? Those who delight in the Good Way are like “trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in season, and their leaves do not wither…” I take it to mean that despite circumstances, we still flourish.

Your turn:

Where do you find yourself? Are you glad about where you are walking?

What did you do this summer?