I write. The past few years I've worked on a novel about a young woman who loves her small circle of racially diverse cousins and about her Tante, an East Prussian survivor of WWII. My previous published book is non-fiction.
I'm a minister, serving an open and affirming, biracial United Church of Christ and co-pastoring with an African American pastor in the Twin Cities. With previous churches, I traveled to New Orleans to help with Habitat's continued rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and I spent 10 days at the Institute for Intercultural Studies & Research in San Cristobal de las casas in Chiapas, Mexico.
The picture above is the Mississippi River. My spirit feels most at home in this river valley, whether on the Minnesota or the Wisconsin side. Known as the Driftless Area, melting glacial waters carved the valley and the bluffs. Its many moods and seasons stimulate and soothe my soul.
But, my heart also yearns for another place.
Set off of Scotland's west coast in the Atlantic Ocean, Iona is a wee bright jewel of an island. For two years, I lived and worked at the Abbey with the Iona Community, greeting new groups of international guests each week. And it is an amazing journey to get there:
- from Glasgow, ride a train or bus into the Highlands
- in Oban, sail on the big ferry
- on the big Isle of Mull, catch a coach for the 45-minute ride on a one-track road
- and at Fionnphort (fin-ne-furt) make your way to the small ferry for the 10-minute ride to Iona
I like to travel. When I lived overseas, I explored Scotland--Nethybridge and Blair Atholl, Glasgow and Edinburgh; England--York and Keswick (the 'w' is silent), Fountains Abbey and Chatsworth House (filmed in Pride and Prejudice); Northern Ireland--Belfast and Carrickfergus, the Giant's Causeway and the Corrymeela Community; and to celebrate New Years, I visited my co-worker's home in Berlin, Germany to watch the fireworks. Since returning to the States, I've visited with a former Iona co-worker at her home in Toronto and we traveled to Ottawa when the Berlin woman married a Canadian man.
I've traveled to many States in the U.S., mostly Midwest (HUGE extended family) but when my kids were still living at home, we
- flew to Maine to visit a college friend doing immunology research on Bar Harbor Island,
- rode the Amtrak train (twice) to Washington and rented a car to check out Seattle, Redmond, Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, Olympic National Park, and Ocean Shores
- drove to Colorado to stay with family in Colorado Springs and check out Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods, drove to the Durango area to stay with a friend and check out Mesa Verde National Park
- also visited Wisconsin's Apostle Islands and Washington Island.
Did I mention I like islands?