Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Pilgrim Prayer by Cary

In Thanksgiving for God's Own Plan for us in Wales
Gracious and Almighty God,
We came by invitation from you
To walk your way together
And we were not afraid
You kissed us and blessed us
You loved us through each other
We breathed new life
Holy Mother, Holy Father, Holy Spirit.
In you we live and move and have our being
There was eternity and you were
And are and will be
Safety is secured
And so Holy Adventure was at hand with us
In this blessed and good land
of mystery and imagination
In the dailyness of life with laughter and deepest sorrow
Tomorrow we leave
Yet having lived in you together
We have our being in each other
Thus loneliness, despair and joy
Are bound together
In your all consuming love
You release us to the world
In grace and truth
To serve you in gladness and singleness of heart

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Colours of Pilgrimage

The Colours of Pilgrimage

Through my lens,
The spectrum comes alive;
In captured images,
The Rainbow shines.

The six-part harmony of
Red – Orange – Yellow
Green – Blue – Violet
Makes music for our eyes.

The myriad hues between
Fill our senses
Bring joy.

Muted pastel shades
Enfold us softly
Bring calm.

What are the colours of pilgrimage?
What are the colours etched in our souls from this journey?

Dragons everywhere.
The red one victorious over evil.

Pentecost in Wales.

Banners made by children in the church
Proclaim the Holy Spirit.

The warmth of a scarlet jacket.

Crimson jam on a scone topped with cream made by caring hands.

A massive door beckoning pilgrims to a woodland enclave… RED

PINK (merely a paler shade of RED)

A tiny flower hiding in the grass…

So many pinks—baby pink, carnation pink, bubblegum, azalea, rose, 
fuchsia, hot pink…

But Barbie Pink, in Wales?  How did that happen? 

The best PINK of all! The feet of a pilgrim on the journey.

The flames of Pentecost…

Votives lit in prayer and praise…

The candle in the prayer circle – burning 
in our imaginations 
when matches were gone.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, everyone.

Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men, everyone.

Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers, everyone.

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, everyone… (Pete Seeger)

Memorial garden in the shape of a military medal

MELON (just a paler shade of ORANGE)
Fleecy, warm – shelter from the wind

Ground cover for pondering

Pilgrims think of home espying dandelions and buttercups.
Is anyone mowing while we are away?

Gorse – pretty to behold… hiding the spikes of painful thorns…
Gracing every hillside and field with a riotous blaze of YELLOW
Keeping the sheep in check – impenetrable

It is everywhere – pervasive – in every shop the green of nation 

On every hillside – in every valley – the pastures are emerald.

From meadows to sea – GREEN

Patina – the green of aging, mellowing, permanence.

At last – it is in the sky glorious and radiant.

Gray gives way to azure filled with light.

Windows – royal and regal in deepest ecumenical BLUE
Tell of a union of spirits – Muslim and Christian together.

A pilgrim in blue rests and reflects...

“When I am old I shall wear purple” someone said.

The fields wear lavender,

The rocks sprout lilac-hued blossoms,

The baskets brim with purple radiance,

The lava is… MAUVE?  How can that be?

A puffy orchid jacket wards off the cold.

The colours of pilgrimage evoke memories
The colours fill and nurture us
The colours speak to us.

Listen… See… Feel…
But wait… there are more.

Everywhere … every day…


How now brown cow?

Cadbury - need I say more?

Pews… rails … altars in polished wood of richest amber
Carvings that tell and retell ancient stories.

Jackets on potatoes at lunch...

The gifts to our souls (no make that soles) from furry dogs…

Massive wooden doors protecting, sheltering, welcoming.


The colour of royalty, of kings, of our King.
Worshipful and majestic.

Gold, frankincense, myrhh…


Simon’s freshly pressed shirt.

Turbines – stewards of the resources of creation.

White Lion – why we pondered so many…
Heralding the crest of families long forgotten
Entombed in the graveyard…


Porridge – filling, sustenance, warmth…

Sheep who surely know their shepherd as we do ours

Learning to like milk in tea

Foam from the pounding waves

Sheep’s wool tucked in cracks of walls 
(no Corning Pink Panther here!)



Did we count how many black coats, parkas, 
jackets made pilgrimage?

How many pairs of black pants? 
Is black the colour of pilgrimage?

What did the medieval pilgrims wear I wonder?

Did they see the black-faced sheep?

Did they marvel at the ebony lava?

Did they use charcoal to capture images 

on parchment, on sheepskin?

Did even one of them have a black shirt 
with a bejeweled emblazoned dragon?


The colour that almost is not a colour

More prevalent than any other hue.

Neutral, pervasive, stark 
against the blue of sky and green of field…

Gargoyles of gray with contorted faces…
Warding off evil, entertaining, telling tales.

Or simply to entertain... how many
hundreds of years has this pup
scratched his ear?

Boulders, rocks, stones, pebbles 
united to craft walls of strength and beauty.

Slabs carved and honed to fashion arches and doorways
strong and lasting.
Each pointing heavenward

Clouds bursting with rain, hail and giving way to sun and warmth

Sophia – grey and elusive and mysterious

Crosses speak of faith

Tombs that attest to mortality 
 names erased by nature and time

Glorious cathedrals, tiny chapels
from artisans and architects of old
Still surround us – protective, uplifting, 
living monuments to past, present, future.


Cradling pilgrim shells
Holding water – the source of life
From a holy sacred well
On pilgrimage

The final colours of Wales