. . . Jesus ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics . . . -Mark 6:8-9
Welcome to my sabbatical blog! I figure I’ll try to post something before I leave, mostly to make sure I know how to do this, but also to share some reflections on preparing for the journey. I hope that this blog will be a place to record my random thoughts and lessons learned during sabbatical, and especially during my travels. But I especially hope to be able to put some of my photographs here, as a way to invite you along.
The beginning of sabbatical has been restful as I had hoped; I am feeling less tired, more patient, more human. Miss R spent a week at the Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center — a week of overnight camp — and while she got to play and eat and pray and play some more, I got to breathe. I worshiped at St. Christopher’s Church in Chicopee on the last Sunday before their rector, Scott Seabury, retired. Scott is the former rector of All Saints’ Church, and was there during the last two of my college years at Mount Holyoke; he is a faithful and funny priest and I was glad to be there to celebrate his retirement. We then spent time with my family and celebrated the Fourth of July in Greenfield. We got a day at the beach. And now, the packing.
I’ll try not to complain about having so much preparation angst since I am fully aware of how blessed I am to be embarking on this trip. But man — the packing! Miss R is a huge help, but she is helping the way an 11 year old does: doing only what is asked, and then rushing through it. Basically I’m packing for both of us (for a whole month!) while Kathy packs for her two-week portion of the journey and takes care of things like dog care and transportation to the airport. I honestly have no idea what we need for a month’s journey, but will try to focus on the essentials, and remember that we will have access to laundry every 11 days or so.
Until I have more photos and more experiences to share, I leave you with a sense of the itinerary:
Two days and three nights in Iceland: Reykjavik, the Golden Circle, Blue Lagoon
A week in London, with 24 hours in Paris as a surprise for Miss R
Train ride to Edinburgh, and a drive (God help us all!) through southern Scotland to Dryburgh, for the three-day wedding extravaganza of Sarah Dunn, with short pilgrimages to the Sir William Wallace Monument and Sterling Castle
A night in the coastal town of Oban
A week on the holy Isle of Iona, to participate in the life of the Abbey
Three days in Glasgow (with a probable day trip)
Three days in Dublin (with a day trip to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher)
May God bless us all, while we are absent one from another.