People Travel

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains,         

At the huge waves of the sea,

At the long courses of rivers,

At the circular motion of the stars,

And they pass themselves by without wondering.

St Augustine

I had a student desk in my childhood bedroom with a huge map of the world on its surface. I would spend hours looking at the many exotic and mysterious names of countries near and far wondering what life is like for people who live in such amazing places.

I imagined life would be so different for other people and enjoyed picturing myself visiting tropical islands in the Pacific or treking through deep jungles and sandy deserts in Africa.

The travel bug hits so many of us early in life and while I’ve enjoyed some adventures and explorations in other countries it was while actually living in another country that I came to see how much we all have in common as human beings. I spent time being a mum with other mothers, being a friend, being a co-worker with people from all over the world. I learnt so much about myself along the way as I observed, listened and absorbed the stories of others.

I wonder if the way we westerners tend to ‘do travel’ actually changes us, or do we merely stay in our protective bubble passing through other cultures and places relatively untouched. We rarely stay long enough to form connections, create meaning and be genuinely impacted by the beauty of listening to and learning from other people. Our style of travel is a whirlwind, whistlestop, leap out for the quick photo op and hastily jump back on board for the next highlight.

In effect I believe how we travel is, for the most part, is also how we tend to do life. And that’s what the quote is all about.

It takes an intentional pause, a mindful noticing, an honest and open questioning, a moment of vulnerability to form meaningful connection with others. Only then, do we discover something about ourselves, something of our shared multi-faceted humanity.

Enjoy your travels, local and overseas when the time allows. Take time in the busy jam packed itinerary to occasionally pause and listen for the questions that will come to expand your awareness of yourself and others.

We are all in this together.


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    Transformed Thinking

    Love hopes and believes the best.

    What we listen to affects

    how we connect and relate

    to ourselves and others.

    We listen to lies about our self

    Formed from frail humanity.

    Freedom comes when we

    Forgive, turn, face the Son

    Leaving the past in the past!

    We listen to lies about others;

    Framed pictures of painful betrayals.

    Freedom comes when fears

    Are faced and we take heart

    Finding both hope and healing.

    For we finally understand,

    We all listen to the same lies

    And all will be healed

    By the same truth.

    “Father forgive them,

    They do not know what they do.”

    They live with lies, shaping a reality

    Giving brittle illusions of power,

    Control, protection, connection.

    We reject what we most fear.

    Therefore, we first reject ourselves.

    The pain of deep disconnection

    More than any can bear.

    We become a city divided,

    Defeated, destroyed.

    The gate is unhinged,

    Open and torn

    As we, with broken hearts,

    Hide in a corner dark and small

    Afraid to step forward

    To claim what is ours,

    Our birthright

    As sons and daughters of the King.

    We are never alone, not ever!

    What a comfort He brings

    The great “I am,”

    The Lover of my soul.

    It’s no longer I that live,

    but Christ that lives in me!

    He died to set me free!

    Di Priest ©C-Change 2007

    Courage to Connect

    Self-isolation has provided some gold moments and some cabin fever moments, but the beauty in each day has become clearer. I’m enjoying the rhythm of connection with solitude, just as in music the melody is shaped and enhanced by the ‘rests’, the pauses that define the flow.

    Connection is so precious in these strange days that I’m observing among our family and friends a gentle and growing openness to express and explore their genuine care, appreciation, needs and hopes. This deepening of conversation opens the door to more meaningful connection for those who are courageously taking the risk.

    Let’s face it there’s no sport to speak of, no concerts, no outings to keep us on the lighter end of connection. Instead, with growing trust and respect there is a genuine desire to support each other, listen to each other and express through the limited means of technology our greatest human desire, to give and receive love.

    My hope is that on the other side of ‘The Rona’ when life resumes its more ‘normal’ pace we hold some of the beauty of this season of solitude and deeper connection. Yes, we’ll need to resume our banter about daily life events and experiences as a very important part of human ‘doing’ that bring vital light and shade to interactions.

    But here in this time of human ‘being’ how can we continue to treasure the newly found gift of really hearing, seeing and knowing each other?

    Let me know what you’ve treasured during this time, and how you are going to hold it!