Smoky Mountain Skies

We’ve been here, near Smoky Mountains National Park, for over a year and have only begun to explore a tiny corner of these amazing Beauty-Monuments (as Muir would say). Photos on this magnificent day:  From Purchase Knob near Maggie Valley, NC  

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Sleeping in a Graveyard!

On his 1000-mile walk from Indiana to Florida in 1867, John Muir sauntered into Savannah, Georgia and couldn’t find a safe place to sleep, and he was almost out of money.  So he wandered into Bonaventure Cemetery on the edge of town and slept under the huge, old live-oaks there, branches drooping with Spanish moss. […]

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Islands of the Gullah

The Sea Island people of the East Coast of the United States have a unique culture, language, spirituality and connection to family. Direct descendants of slaves brought from Angola, Sierra Leone and other African lands, the Gullah (or Geechee) still live along the Gullah Corridor from North Carolina to Florida. Of course, the Loving God of […]

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They Go Low, We Go High

  If anyone asks what a “Secular Chaplain” is or does. . .here’s one good explanation: A Secular Chaplain, like the Constitution, tips the hat to Religion (with due respect), but never bends the knee (with reverence). Put another way, this kind of open air/open mind worldview loves Nature, learns from Nature and saunters forward […]

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Blue Ridge Beauty

Mountains. . .Rivers. . .Falls. . .Forests. . .Flowers. . .Trails. . .Skies. On our drive from Waynesboro, VA to Asheville, NC we covered 325 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway–a national treasure.  We only have a few miles more to complete the whole 469-mile journey.  Then, we’ll keep going back to the beauty!  

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Freethinkers Need to Claim “Religious Freedom”

Reading Douglas Brinkley’s excellent article honoring Thoreau’s 200th birthday (“Thoreau’s Wilderness Legacy,” NYT, July 9, 2017), I sat back to ponder an oddly reasonable thought: Since wildness preserves the world (as “Saint Henry” and his disciples have taught) and secular citizens respect, even reverence, this world as much as any believer reveres their god, because […]

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