Wandering- This begins a series of newsletters devoted to 12 basic concepts in Celtic Spirituality.


It is only when we open the door to the new, that something different walks through.


Within Celtic Spirituality, wandering is a sacred act, a way of moving closer to the Divine.


The spiritual journey of our lives demands both outward and inward wandering, often not knowing where God will lead.


The Celts had wandered all across Europe before landing on its western fringes. They knew what it meant to pick up your feet and go.


I picked this topic because so many of us feel restricted from freely moving with the quarantine and the pandemic. We feel stuck physically.


We can’t see our friends without distance or a computer screen. Shopping is a dangerous activity and eating at a restaurant is prohibited. Traveling is off the table.


Can you wander given these restrictions?


Yes.


We can go for ambles. I love that word: amble! It means to walk or move at a slow, relaxed pace.


We can drive without a map, turning down roads to see where we will end up. Pack some lunch and head off to parts unknown.


An example of how to do it in the city and town:


My friend has a dog who is walked by a teenage boy three times a week. When this boy finishes his “Zoom School” in the late morning, he comes over for the dog and together they walk for hours all over the city, up through the woods, over the trails. This is how he wanders.


Both inward and outward wandering counts.


And what if we can’t leave our home due to physical restrictions or obligations?


We can amble within. We can do something different –

maybe as simple as exchanging dinner for breakfast,

or listening to a new genre of music,


or breaking out in a spontaneous dance party with the cat.


Read a book outside of your favorite subject or wander through your contacts and call someone you meant to stay in touch with but didn’t.


Like James Taylor who says, “I don’t read music. I don’t write it. So I wander around on the guitar until something starts to present itself”, we can poke around with our familiar tools and ask for new inspiration.


We can explore our past, allow our mind to wander through our future possible roads, and look for meaning in present-day signs and symbols.


The Celts believed that the Divine was present in each and every moment always sending out messages to the seeker no matter where they were.


Bring this picture into your mind: the spirits, the Divine, frantically waving at us always and only occasionally do we remember to look their way.


Resolve to look their way.


My favorite spontaneous amble from my past:

I decided to go on a camping trip one Saturday morning to Rock Island in Door County Wisconsin. Before leaving, I had to quickly seam seal my new tent and then I drove frantically for hours to catch the only ferry to the island. As I got to the dock, the ferry was just casting off. The sailor yelled at me that there was no more room for cars, so I parked, grabbed my backpack, and literally leaped over water onto the deck as it was pulling away. Exhilarated and triumphant, I was greeted by a round of applause from the other passengers.


A free day or a few hours is the perfect opportunity for hitting the roads or trails, seeing what the day will bring. If you are feeling stuck remember:


It is only when we open the door to the new, that something different walks through.


I have over the years developed different ways of wandering that suit me. I offer you a few here. Try them out and see what you like:

  • Open that contact list and the first old friend's name you see, call them.

  • Take a walk or a drive. This can be a short time or all day puttering around the trails of your house, the city park, down the roads nearby, or hiking through a forest.

  • Wander through your bookshelves and pick out that book you haven't yet read.

  • Pick up that instrument or paintbrush and let it take you somewhere new.

  • If you know how to, go on a shamanic journey and plan to explore new places in non-ordinary reality. You don’t even have to leave your house!

And remember to thank the Divine for always being there.


I hope you enjoy these wanderings.


If you’d like to share your wanderings, go to our FaceBook page BirchGrove Hearth. We’d love to hear your wandering stories!

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