I used to get into trouble for rambling, but it did no good.
I was a rambling teacher- easily tempted onto a byway. I might begin with the Bible and end in art history or modern physics or [of course] politics or- who knows? - the symbolism of sunflowers or 40 ways to cook eggplant. Not that I ever end: there's always another conversation.
I mention the Bible because I'm a preacher- a United Church of Canada minister, to be exact. So I work with the Bible or it works with me almost every week . But not as you might expect. I would not fare well in a Bible Belt.
So I confess: yes, I am a rambler, and a spiritual rambler at that.
But there is a place for rambling: rambling in the sense of walking for pleasure, often as the Merriam-Webster online dictionary suggests, in the countryside. In England rambling through the countryside is encouraged: enjoying public footpaths, having ready access to green spaces, taking a picnic lunch. In Canada- my home most of my life- you will find walking trails, perhaps in parks and historic sites, perhaps in [lamentably] disused railway beds.
Admittedly most outdoor ramblers are following a path- or at least have a path in mind. However such paths are designed not only to bring you to a scenic destination. You are meant to enjoy the journey, observe your surroundings, take each step attentively, be in the moment without asking “ Are we there yet?”
Physically, I've been known to follow paths- in my own time and my own way. Spiritually, I often feel as if I'm making my own path. Inevitably though, my path meets the path of others, at least for a time. I delight in those I meet along the way.
If you travel with me awhile, you may find yourself rambling through a physical landscape, an intellectual one, a spiritual one- perhaps an imaginary one. For me they all connect , wondrously.
Why am I inviting you along? Perhaps my eclectic travel notes will inspire you to explore far horizons- perhaps they will help you take a fresh look at what's around you, with "beginner's mind" - perhaps they will reassure you that you are not alone.
Next time, I will introduce myself a little- as any travelling companion might. Then, who knows : the ramblings of an explorer, a mystic, a writer, a liturgist, a poet, a spiritual guide, a theologian. a still-hopeful seeker of justice and peace?
Perhaps I will hear from you also: what are your paths? what horizons do you glimpse? What do you see along the way?