Minister’s Reflections

I would love to live Like a river flows, Carried by the surprise Of its own unfolding. -John O’Donahue

I have just returned from a trip to California to teach a women’s retreat at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, based on the stories in my book, The Hidden Lamp: Stories from Twenty-Five Centuries of Awakened Women. I rode the train from Glenwood Springs to San Francisco, and I heartily recommend this stunning — and climate friendly — trip. A train trip produces less than 10% of the carbon footprint of the same trip by car or plane, and I find train travel luxurious and endlessly interesting. This was my first time on the California Zephyr, and we traveled along the red rock canyons of Ruby and Horsethief Canyons along the Colorado River – an area you can otherwise only see by raft – across the Utah and Nevada desert (waking to sunrise over desert mountains) and then across the California Sierra and along the Sacramento River, arriving a little over 24 hours later in Emeryville, near Berkeley. As always on trains, I met fascinating people – an author, an 18-year-old nuclear engineer from England, a young Maori woman from New Zealand on an extended exploration of the US, a 9-year-old traveling with his grandfather, a man in his 70s who had just walked the entire Appalachian Trail.

Although I had a lovely time in the Bay Area, visiting old friends, attending Zen events, and teaching at Tassajara, a magical place in the mountains east of Big Sur, I was very happy to return to the Roaring Fork Valley and begin to truly settle in here as your minister. I am hoping to get to know each of you, and invite you to join me for coffee or tea, or a conversation at the Third Street Center. I am excited about exploring the Touchstones themes, and look forward to your feedback. My hope is that it will allow us to go quite deeply into one theme over the course of a month, both in services and on our own. The theme this month is “Reverence.” Parents, there are things for kids here too.
On another note, I would love to borrow a bicycle, while the weather is good enough for riding. Does anyone have a small women’s bike, road or hybrid, sitting in your garage gathering dust?
Blessings, Florence