This past June, I travelled again to Iona, a small island off the western coast of Scotland. It was my third time there, but this time I was joined by 14 companions as well as my dear old friend Tricia Brennan who was co-leader with me of a 7 day retreat.Read More
People often ask me when Rome’s slow season is, and usually in the same breath say Rome must be horribly crowded in the summer. Here’s a secret. It’s August and the city is empty. Sure, there are tourists around the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica, but the quiet back streets are, well, quiet.Read More
In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be setting out again to travel to Iona. It will be my third trip in three years so you know it is a place that draws me. I’m not alone in this. Each year, women and men make their way to this little island from all around the world.
So how did Iona get started and why do people come? Well, it’s a bit of a mystery.
Legend has it that people lived on the island before Columba arrived in 563 AD to foundRead More
I’m getting ready to set out for Iona, a sacred island off the coast of Scotland. It will be my third trip there in the space of three years so I guess you can tell it is a place that draws me.
Recently, I gathered with a group of people who will be on the retreat I am leading. It was interesting, and moving, to listen to them speak about what had motivated them to travel to Iona.Read More
Rome’s most beautiful new museum, and newest subway station, is at San Giovanni in Laterano.
The finds on display tell the story of Rome through stratigraphy (graphically marked with a clear indication of level below modern ground), chronology (with key dates popping up as you descend) and themes familiar to my students (water, reuse, etc.).Read More
I don’t know why I’ve always liked these words from Marcus Aurelius; I know they may come off at first at sounding kind of harsh.
But I think he is on to something wise here. These words motivate me to think more deeply about how I am living and what parts of my life, my soul may need some “fresh air.”Read More
On Sunday I went out on my bike with the intention of filling some pages in a little sketchbook, pages that have been empty for too long. Somehow I found myself leaving Italy to enter Vatican City, inside St. Peter’s Basilica for the first time in years.Read More
I’ve always loved what Margaret Fuller wrote about the “miseries” of a New England spring. She wasn’t far off the truth. We get so hopeful this time of year. I even made the mistake of planting seeds in my garden one warm Saturday in March, totally jumping the gun! We are just eager to get on with it. But Fuller was right, the spring wind is sharp and cutting and cold.Read More
Here in Concord where I live, it is pretty in early spring, although the wind blows sharp with that “bite” so characteristic of a New England spring.Read More
Last summer Rankin & Greene did a scouting trip to the Outer Hebrides or the Western Isles of Scotland. Pictured above is our plane.Read More
This 17th-Century library, part of a complex designed by Renaissance master Borromini, ignites a child-like awe every time I step inside.Read More