Showing posts from August, 2013

Harrisburg, PA to Waterville, ME... the Goose is Coming Home (Day 14)

The plan this morning was to get through New York as early as I could and beat the traffic... well, you know what they say about plans... it was a good one though!

I was moving by 5:45AM and it was looking like this was going to go according to plan... but the minute I crossed into New York things started to slow down!  The traffic!!  Oh my... and the tolls... they almost got the best of me!

I left Harrisburg with $20 in my pocket thinking I would get cash when I got gas... and then figured I
could wait until I got the second tank of gas... one toll after another and I arrived at the George Washington Bridge with $13 in my pocket.  The toll was $12.  I crossed over and by then I needed gas... and by now I knew that there would be another toll!  I almost didn't get off before I would have needed the toll!

I managed to get off the Interstate at New Rochelle and find an ATM and a gas station.  With the tank full and some cash in my pocket it was back on the road... but by now the tr…

Asheville, NC to Harrisburg, PA... the Goose is Coming Home! (Day 13)

I was up at 5:30AM and ready to roll.

All my stuff had been packed the night before and it took me just a few minutes to place the last few items in their proper places and set of... after hitting the "Home" button... and waiting... and waiting while it calculated the route.

Hmmmm... don't think I'll makae it in time for breakfast tomorrow...  Hahahaha!!

It was a beautiful morning to be riding... and to watch the sun come up as I enjoyed one last look at these mountains that have provided so much enjoyment!!

Knowing I would not be home in time for breakfast, I had set for myself a goal of 900KM - that's three tanks of gas at freeway speeds and it seemed like a good idea... until I noticed while doing a walk around after the first tank of gas (having filled my belly too) that the rear brakes were shot.  The was nothing where I was so I opted to go onto to where the next tank of gas would take me and by then the shops would be open.

In New Market, VA they pointed me…

Preparing to Return... Renewed and With Courage... (Day 13)

Wednesday evening following supper I called Phil, my colleague from PRC-L who was storing my
motorcycle in his garage.  I told him that I thought I had told him the wrong evening to pick me up– that I would be back on Wednesday evening.  He informed me that it was Wednesday evening.  I remember saying, “Are you sure…”  He was.  I was not!

Once we established that I would in fact fly back to Asheville on Thursday and arrive at 9:40PM and that this was the time I had informed him earlier… I felt a bit more connected.  Once again I knew what day of the week it was!

Looking back now I am surprised that I was able to go as deep as I was and connect as fully with others in my small group as I did given that other issues that were crowding my plate.  Email after email kept coming in and I was finding myself unable to not respond… and so I sat with that: asking myself “What is going on here, within me at this moment?”  I found the silence so helpful – the quiet created a space for me to simp…

Considering the Heart of Community... Courage and Renewal (Day 12)

Last evening (Monday) was spent in community sharing our last few hours with Parker Palmer and
being nourished by the soul touching music of Carrie Newcomer.

Parker took some extended time answering some well crafted questions that were created at our supper time table group conversations.  I was deeply touched by his response to a question (stated more complexly than this - but essentially) "What is true?  Why does it matter?
If I understood Parker correctly, truth is important because any truth is our truth... a truth grounded in our experience, a truth that shapes our reality.  There is no truth capital "T" - except the truth that we seek and create in community, truth that is shared and owned - and this truth is ever evolving... that its more important to be in relationship than to be right.  Parker also reminded me of the wise words of a fellow Canadain, Jean Vanier who said "community is the continual act of forgiveness..."  In the next breath Carrie Ne…

Attending to the Heart of the Leader... A Day with Parker Palmer and Others (Day 11)

What a day it has been.  To be reminded that "all we need is here" and that it is the "power of the
human heart that has fostered most all of the important social movements in human history... those who worked for racial equality, the abolishment of apartheid - they didn't have money or power, but they had heart... to be reminded that when all the external forces are stripped away, and all they had was the power of the human heart - change was possible.

Parker spoke at length about the power of the heart - the core of our being, the human soul/spirit and its capacity to foster change.  Leaders need to nurture their hearts for "if it ain't in your heart it ain't in your horn".  Leaders teach a hidden curriculum in what they do and don't do... and as a result have powerful impacts on people.  Am I as a leader "teaching" a hidden curriculum that fosters obedience to a set social message or am I "teaching" a hidden curriculum t…

A Real Flight... to Courage and Renewal on the Sabbath Road (Day 10)

Phil and Cathy Bostrom have been such gracious hosts to me!  The world IS filled with good and beautiful people!

I awoke Monday morning at 5AM to the aroma of blueberry muffins!  What a treat!  Cathy had been up late worrying about her son who was travelling home to Florida from the Wild Goose Festival and she used the time to prepare muffins - this after preparing Blueberry Cobbler for our desert on Sunday evening!  Boy was I being spoiled!!

Phil and I had engaged in an animated conversation the night before about how I would get to the airport and he won.  He got to drive me.  I am so very grateful for the graciousness of these folk I had never met before but who have welcomed me into their home even as they are in the midst of settling in themselves - a modern day example of desert hospitality!  Phil and Cathy, I do hope that as retirement allows you to travel that we might be able to extend hospitality to you should you travel our way!

Both flights were uneventful.  I dozed and …

Packing up for the Next Leg... of the Wild Goose Ride (Day 09)

I was up at 6AM and before I headed off for a shower I began to break camp.  My mind had begun to shift and I was thinking about the next event... I am so looking forward to a normal bed, less humidity, and a real chair to sit in!!

With the morning routine done I got a call into Anna - both of us agreed that this trip seems long!  We are both looking forward to some time away together to celebrate our Anniversary when I get home!

By 9AM my camp was all packed on the bike and I made my way down to hear Brian McLaren: "We make the road by walking..."  It was an encouraging address - reminding people of the many encouragements that had been offered over Festival... focusing on the we... and the walking...  and by 10:15AM I was riding... riding out the Rattler that I had rode in on in the rain on Wednesday!  It was a

Unfortunately these were many that I did not get to connect with one last time before I left - but in this age of social media I am sure we will connect aga…

The Last Full Day... of a Wild Goose Ride (Day 08)

I slept through until 5:30AM and was pleased to discover that there were still no line ups for the
showers!!  With over 900 people camping in a space with 4 showers those are pretty slim odds!  Alas – by the time I came out there with six folks waiting to get in!!!

Showered and as fresh as a daisy I headed over to the Still Mountain Pub to use the WiFi only to find that it was down for some reason… so, I typed away in a word document thinking I'd get a connection at some point... it never happened!

At 7:30AM I made my way to the community centre and had the by now usual breakfast of bagels, hard boiled eggs and coffee... and then made my way to the parking lot: a three acre grass field partially filled with cars that needed to hold the two hundred or so more that would come today!

My partners for the morning were three students, members of a band who had ridden their bicylces the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be here!  They were still talking about the trip and comparing th…

A fine end to a fine day,,, Wild Goose Ride (Day 07 Part II)

Having enjoyed my birthday dinner at the Still Mountain Pub with a couple local craft beers I made my way back to the Main Stage where Aimee Wilson was playing followed by Phil Maderia – all I can say is WOW!

Maderia is a very accomplish Blues player and singer songwriter in his own right, having played with some pretty big names along the way too!  The guitar rifts, the steel guitar and violin together with Maderia’s soothing and chillingly challenging vocals had the hair on the back of my neck standing on end… and then it started to rain… so I gathered my stuff up intending to head to bed – but – by the time I got to my camping area the rain had stopped and the neighbours were working to get a fire going!

I joined in with their efforts and before long we had a nice blaze going – but not before one of number had gouged themselves with the wedge and another had opened a box of wine to share around!  By 11PM I was on sensory overload.  So many fascinating and engaging conversations, …

As the Rain Falls... So Does Grace... Wild Goose Ride (Day 07)

My mother tells me I was a gift.  Through my life I have known what it is to be received and treasured
as a gift.  Thank you.  I have also known what it is to be treated as other than gift and today was an opportunity to bring those two experiences into focus together - even as I celebrated my 48th birthday and (as of 5:30PM Eastern Time) have received 91 birthday greetings from Facebook Friends, two from LinkedIn and 36 personal emails.  I am loved.  Wow.

I began my day with some conversation with Anna and answering some email that needed attention and then I went to the Community Centre where breakfast is hosted each day for the volunteers.  I shared the table with Meaghan who is a student at Queens University and is doing a three month tour of the eastern US in her car... alone!!  She is studying occupational therapy and Queens and ended up here at the Goose as a result of a poster she saw in a coffee shop in Raleigh, NC.  The Spirit does work in wild and wonderful ways.  We share…

As evening falls, so does the rain... Wild Goose Ride (Day 06 Part II)

At 11AM I went and officially registered.  The lineup had begun!  It was so amazing to stand in a line
up and so quickly find points of convergence with individuals from various parts of the continent.  We may have all come for different reasons, but there was a commonality among us that was easily identifiable.  And the parking lot filled up...

With registration completed I began to wander around the site and and meet some people.  I met Eric and Steve two of the key movers and shakers involved in Darkwood Brew a progressive, ancient, mystical Christian internet television program.  Before too long we were finishing each others sentences and making connections to wider issues that each of us is wresting with.

Next I met Chris - a single man from Virginia who works as DVD programmer.  Our conversation began with "What question(s) did you bring with you this weekend?"  Chris shared with me some of his struggle around understanding and accepting gay and lesbian folk in the Ch…