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, NCRead More Smoky Mountain Skies
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. […]Read More Sleeping in a Graveyard!
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 […]Read More Islands of the Gullah
From “peak-baggers” who delight in “conquering” mountain summits, to “god-baggers” who delight in claiming their God is the Highest and Greatest. . . Isn’t it just fine to saunter a trail along a ridge, into the shaded forests, noticing the beauty, listening for silence. . .with no goal, no destination, no need to “get there” […]Read More Is the Point to Go to the Highest Point?
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 […]Read More They Go Low, We Go High
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!Read More Blue Ridge Beauty
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 […]Read More Freethinkers Need to Claim “Religious Freedom”