Adventure Unfold

 

Eisenbahtunnel, Tunnel, Railway, Rail, Rails, Track

Pixabay

Little train – adventure find

Mysteries lay bare

On track to your destiny

Let this journey take you there

 

Though chugging into darkness

Into things as yet unknown

May discover all your wants and dreams

And claim them for your own

 

Padre

 

Fandango’s Dog Days of August: Fandango’s challenge was to write on the of theme “something you found.”  The prompt morphed in my mind into the process of “finding,” or of the discovery of experiences new.  Who knows what thrills might be found next in places unexpected?

 

 

Outwards Onwards

 

Italy, Mountains, Sky, Clouds, Harbor

Pixabay

Outwards, onwards to the adventures ahead

New things to explore and see

Horizons fresh, experiences yet unknown

Await discovery

 

Outwards, onwards to adventures ahead

They’re just waiting for you and me

Join me down by the slip

And together we’ll see what will be

 

Padre

 

dVerse Quadrille -Slip

 

Adventures To Seek: A Tanka

Pixabay

 

Journeying onwards
New discoveries to make 
Along trails unknown
Amid hills and wide grasslands
Untold adventure to seek

 

Padre

Inspiration Call: Tanka  A Tanka is a Japanese poem and similar to a Haiku, however it has seven lines. Tankas are nature, seasons, love, and other emotions. Line one has a five syllable count, line two is seven syllables, line three is five syllables, line four is seven syllables, and line five seven syllables. In total it has thirty one syllables.

The Find

 

 

Book, Old, Antique, Wooden Table

image: Pixabay

The Order had been in decline for years.  Several of the outlying houses had been locked and abandoned.  Those were the dark years, and indifference to the spiritual seemed to sweep over the land.

But then there was “the Awakening.”  Churches began to fill and religious communities again began to prosper.

The brethren of the central house were finding the quarters and chapel becoming too cramped.  Solitude and reflective prayer were difficult and under these conditions the superiors of the house made the decision to reopen the chapel in the foothills.  It was a fine old building, and cluster of five small heritages and a ten man dormitory stood nearby.

The plan was to send a contingent of friars to complex to carry out necessary repairs, and to prepare the site for the construction of a larger dormitory in the spring.

The six brothers arrived in early November, and began shoring up roofs and replacing and repainting weathered woodwork, the facility having been abandoned for nearly forty years.

At the end of their first full week at the site, it began to snow.  This seriously hampered their external efforts.  There was plenty to occupy them indoors,  however.  The continued to clean and paint throughout the afternoon.

By time for evening prayers the snow was so deep that it was decided that the brothers would remain in the chapel for the evening.

The next morning was bright, but cold.  The glare of the morning sun upon the three foot deep snowbanks was nearly blinding.

The friars held their morning devotions, and then Brother Cuthbert took their single shovel in order to clear a path back to the dormitory.  As he shoveled he overturned what was thought to be a flagstone.  Underneath it, there was something heavy wrapped in time-soiled oilcloth.

Cuthbert stopped his shoveling and leaned down to pick up the bundle, and found it contained a book.   He had just begun to flip through the first pages, when Brother Derek called out.

“What do you have there?” Derek urged from the doorway.

Cuthbert held up a finger to indicate that he wanted his brother to wait a minute.

“A book, but it seems blank,” Cuthbert eventually responded, still flipping through pages.

He returned to the chapel doorway, and showed the ancient volume to Derek.

“How odd,” Derek reflected, he too now flipping through the blank pages.

“I don’t see why anyone would have bothered themselves with wrapping it so carefully, and then burying it under the path,” Cuthbert mused aloud.

“Brothers, what do you have there?” Brother Simon called from near the altar rail, which he had just varnished.

“A book,” the other two responded, almost in harmony.

“Bring it here, let’s have a look,” Simon urged.

“There’s not much to see,” Derek responded, as they walked down the aisle. “It’s blank.”

The book was laid upon the altar, and opened.  It did indeed seem to be blank.

Just then, Brother Anselm who was working on the east end of the outside of the building removed the boards from the window above the altar.  Streams of light poured through the stained glass illuminating the pages.

Now rather than blank pages the friars could read handwritten text which had taken on the reds, greens, and blues of the stained glass.

Cuthbert turned quickly to the first page where he read in a clunky Latin script, “The Journal of Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone.”

Who knows what secrets they might find therein?  Especially in times like these.

Padre

 

Sunday Writing Prompt “5 by 5”

An Old:
Church

Weather:
Snowy and Cold

An Empty:
Book

A Gesture:
Wait (holding out the hand or holding up one finger or similar)

A Tool:
Shovel

Without Horizon

tree mountain snow cloud sky fog mist hill wave weather meteorological phenomenon atmospheric phenomenon atmosphere of earth geological phenomenon

image: pxhere.com

Without Horizon

Raised in hills and valleys,

Land of waterfalls and sheep,

Of cloud and rain, and narrow views,

The sky pinched by mountains steep.

 

Reared in a place of woodlands,

Of trees and foliage thick,

By forests on every hand – closing in,

The sky dappled by leaves and sticks.

 

Raised in climes of ice and snow,

Where, as one, land and sky do blend,

A white-washed place of blowing drifts,

A vast whiteness without end.

(74 words)

Padre

———————————–

This piece is offered as a metaphor for how our views are narrowed by our upbringings, and how our world can be so well enhanced by seeing the world (both literally and through the eyes of others).

Sammi Cox’s Challenge

Grottoes

What is it that draws us to caves? Is it a spiritual drive, or some primeval desire to enter into the realm where the world of light and darkness meet?

Whatever the compulsion, there is an indisputable link with spirituality and caves. Examples are abundant, whether it be the grotto of Lourdes, the caves of Lascaux, or the Corycian Cave at Delphi.

I have felt this draw myself. When I was a much younger man, serving on the Island of Okinawa, I visited the site of the Kin Kannon Temple near Camp Hansen. Here I discovered the Nisshudo Cave. To be fair, I was driven as much by an Indiana Jones-like desire for discovery, as I was by religious interest, but in the end it was a moving experience emotionally and psychologically to find the Buddhist shrine deep within the cave.  At the time it was not as tidy or well signposted as it seems to be on TripAdvisor these days, it was truly a surprise discovery, but one which while Buddhist was still touching to me.

I have had a long relationship with such religious sites. When I was a teenager I often visited the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception near Catholic University. There I always looked at wonder at the Christ Pantocrator, but ultimately, I would find my way to the grotto-like Our Lady of Lourdes shrine. It was at this chapel, that I had the more profound religious experiences.

The spiritual dimension of such cavernous places is reflected in many cultures. While I was visiting the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, one of its main exhibits was a grotto. Though pagan in its focus, it shared many of the traits of the Buddhist and Catholic grotto shrines. A place of light in the darkness, and the enclosed separation of an “other worldly” atmosphere stirred the mind and emotions.

boscastle-grottoA

Grotto Boscastle

Caves do no seem to me to have such a major importance in the Christian Protestant tradition.  This is not to say that Protestants do not hold certain caves as spiritually significant.  These often include the caves mentioned in the biblical narrative such as the caves of En Gedi where David hid from Saul.  The burial place of Jesus (Aedicule site), is said to have originally been a cave as well.  But Jesus rose again to life, and therefore light.  Maybe this is the reason for the evangelical  indifference to the subterranean.

imageedit_6_7275156777 (1)

Aedicule Jerusalem

Caves feature as well in the history of The Dead Sea Scrolls which were “resurrected” from caves near Qumran.  Here for nearly two thousand years the priceless copies of biblical texts rested.  This is understandable as caves as places of protection are cited in scripture (as with David, and Elijah).  Yet these faithful figures were called from their dark cells by duty, or directly by God. The scrolls were hidden by their keepers with the goal of being reclaimed.  Their delayed recovery from their dark confinement is a blessing to us, as they have proven to be a time capsule, which upholds the reliability of the transmission of God’s Word.

Where does this leave us? Caves and grottoes draw us.  They allow us to interact with or emotions, fears, and with the unknown. But despite their fascination, and the spiritual echoes which touch us, we learn more in the light. This does not mean we have nothing to gain from exploring their depths, but in the end they should challenge us to reconnect with the world and with life.

Padre

 

 

 

Picturesque Castle Combe

 

CC Village 4

Castle Combe in Wiltshire is noted as being one of the most picturesque villages in the Cotswolds, if not in all England.   It was famously used as a film location for the 2011 movie War Horse.  

Its medieval market cross, and local stone house give it a yesteryear charm, and the church has an exhibit based on the War Horse experience.  The river runs down one side of the village, and the Cotswolds provides a wonderful backdrop.

The Castle Combe in and its neighbour The White Heart provide good food, and a place to have a cuppa and to take in the pleasant village surroundings.  Though it is a bit of a hilly walk, Castle Combe provides discoveries of architecture and nature for those willing to seek them out.  Several of the small businesses and residents in the village centre offer local produce, jams, and honey for sale.

Castle Combe Pump

For hikers, photographers, and travel enthusiasts this is a location to put on your travel map.

Padre

Discovering Budapest

I arrived in Budapest on a cold October morning.  After getting settled-in at the flat I had booked, I headed for the Hop on Hop off to scope out the city.  This is a city with history, character and contrasts.  This could be noted at the tour bus’ starting point.  Beautiful architecture that had seen better days.

We made our way to the castle, and the Fisherman’s Bastion is all that it was described to be.  This is a beautiful building.  The castle also provides some wonderful views of the Blue (well steely gray) Danube.  Later the Parliament Building was another terrific sight, with the national banners prominent and adding to the colour.

I was fortunate to have a bright, clear couple of days to explore.  It was on the chilly side in the mornings, and with apologies to Jethro Tull, October does not make for Hot Nights in Budapest. But with a jacket, even the evenings and early mornings were comfortable enough.

Buda Castle at Dawn

On the foodie front, I had some wonderful paprika rich casseroles, and a really earthy mushroom dish.  A small cafe near the Margaret Bridge provided me with a slightly bitter latte, but some excellent cream cake.

There is, as on many of my European journeys, the dark side of the legacy of the Holocaust, and of the Communist era.  The Dohány Street Synagogue and the “Tree of Life” memorial are monuments to the former, but not as stark as the “Shoes Memorial” along the bank of the Danube marking the murder of the city’s Jewry.

This is a city to take your time in.  As I was making my way back to my accommodation, I almost literally ran into an “Austro-Hungarian Policeman” near 6 Oktober Street.  Such is the wonder of this city.

Policeman Statue - 6 Oktober Street

Policeman

Padre

Italian Renaissance in Eastern Poland

I was lucky enough to visit Zamość a couple of years ago.  This is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is well deserved.  The town was “designed and built in accordance with the Italian theories of the ‘ideal town,[wiki quote]'” by the town’s founder Jan Zamoyski and the Italian architect, Bernardo Morando.

The central square boasts Zamoyski’s Palace, the “Armenian Houses,” and a wonderful pink-hued pavement.  It has far more a Mediterranean feel on a summer’s day than that of Poland.

There are some nice cafes along the market square, and it is a beautiful place to take in the architecture while sipping a drink.

A bit of the dark past of Zamość is not far away, however, as the synagogue of what was in pre-war times a Jewish community of 12,500 stands as a memorial.

This is (and I hate the over use of this term) a gem in the Polish countryside.  A must visit!

Padre