Welcome to my world!
This website, just like my life, is a work in progress ... and I invite you to share in my exploration.
I hope you enjoy what you discover here; if you are interested in finding out about any of my interests and invitations,
be in touch, won't you?
Spiritual Director, musician and poet.
What gives depth and delight to life more than finding out who we really are and expressing that in all authenticity? This seems to me to be the reason for our existence, and it is only in relationship with others and with God that this becomes really possible.
But nothing is clear cut, for me, and what you will read about here will, I hope, give as many questions and provocations as answers.
I write about spirituality, prayer, music
and poetry; about nature, creativity, and, well,
Feel free to join me here in exploring heart and voice, and please be in touch!
I noticed that the trees,
whose golden autumn garments
no longer drape their limbs,
but droop in tired swathing,
or immodestly drop,
are glad to bare their form,
stand proud, though disrobed;
and raise their branches empty in surrender to the season’s skies.
Do trees anticipate the spring? Do they harbour hope?
Plan next year’s wardrobe?
Or do they, with their ‘yes’ to each cold dawning,
embody simple presence,
and offer purest worship?
photo by Caroline Hyde
Kimpton in the morning mist and sun
November 5th 2020
I can still see the tree that inspired this poem 7 years ago. It was after a frost, and the yellow leaves were really 'swathed' across the tree, like the sweep of a scarf across the shoulders of a woman in an evening gown. This autumn, in 2020, I have spent a lot of time looking at the 'proud' stature of trees as they release their leaves to the ground in the autumn weather. Sure, I know that many trees already now show evidence of next year's new growth - the sticky tips of the chestnuts, or the catkins already dancing, albeit rather stiffly, at the ends of the hazel twigs - but there is something very still in the presence of a tree, in its strong trunk, in the way its branches grow out of that life-giving pillar, in the sensing-but-not-seeing of the roots, that suggests the 'yes' that I describe. I was for many years a music/worship leader at church, and have loved expressing my deep longing for God in music and song. Then at some stage the silent bits between the songs, the waiting and the listening, became more nourishing than all the active and noisy bits of corporate praise, and I have started to learn that stopping and letting be (whatever the circumstances of my life), as exemplified by the autumnal trees, can take me to deeper places, more contented places, and, if I am honest, to more real places. 'Presence' may in fact not be 'simple', either to define or to experience, but the word, like 'worship', points me in a direction that I suspect it is worth investing my life to follow.
Spiritual Direction is an invitation to spend time together exploring your innermost (and outward) experiences of life, including your longings, your hopes, your relationships, your ambitions, joys and fears and ... whatever in fact it is that you want to bring to conversation. Together we take "a long loving look at the real', as Walter Burghardt so tenderly put it, which for me includes where body, soul and spirit meet: where God is, whatever that means for you.
But you don't have to be clear about your religious faith (or indeed have any connection with religion at all) to want to seek something spiritually deeper, and you are welcome whatever your background or current practices and interests are.
I am also available to lead retreats and quiet days.