3rd Dispatch from the Hills

Over the past couple weeks, I have eased into the “Poetry, Pine Trees and Play” part of sabbatical. While supporting the other three family members who are trying to finish this strangest of school years, I’ve collected supplies and gear for backpacking adventures and researched several potential routes. I’ve both trekked solo and joined a few local hike meetups. I’ve trained a (very) little bit to carry extra weight required to overnight in the backcountry. I’ve spent some time going much more slowly through nature than I usually do, trying for example to sit on a rock without rushing off and simply listen. Almost ready!

It has taken this long also to settle into a deeper rhythm of true rest and reading and prayer. I have quite a pile of wisdom and poetry. I’m savoring both silence and language. The Pilgrim’s Compass, by Paul H. Lang, especially has been a tremendous gift and guide as I shift into the strangeness of being a pilgrim at home – a person seeking to, as he writes, “inhabit the home of our sojourning.” A huge part of that involves listening deeply to my body. It takes practice. Renewal is happening within, though. I can tell because creative ideas for ministry have started bubbling up again as I read and pray. Each time I make a mental note to share “when I get back.” By mid-June, depending on weather and permits, I hope to be trekking on longer paths through our mountain ranges.

Snapshots: training hike, a view from the PCT

Sabbatical Backpacking View from the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)




Play Soundtrack on Spotify: “Shine” by Dolly Parton, from the album Little Sparrow

With Joy,

Rev. Christina

[Editor’s Note: Originally written May 31, 2021.]