Setting Out, With Intention

I find myself in the presence of four courageous women and one very courageous man (he’s come equipped with a five-pound chocolate bar to help him weather these fifteen days of estrogen overload).  We have committed to the earth and to one another to travel the length of the Athabasca River, to get still, and to listen to what she has to say.

It was just Tuesday that we set out from a tranquil Franciscan retreat near Cochrane.  Rolling green hills, three dark horses and an expansive mountain vista led me to sleep and greeted me upon awakening.

And yet, even there, I slept within sight of a pulp mill on one side, an oil derrick to the other, a sour gas well on the third and a noisy and growing suburban development on the fourth.  I feel grateful to the friars for saving and holding onto this quiet space of peace amongst  encroaching industrial pressures.  I feel that I am often seeking such peace.  And that I have to fight for it against the encroaching addictions of internet, itineraries and my own mental rush.  One intention I hold for these two weeks along the mighty Athabasca’s shores is to let go of those daily pressures, to create space for stillness, and to really listen.  We shall see what unfolds…

About the author: Heather Hendrie loves life. She is grateful to have this time to ponder the mighty Athabasca in the presence of the other incredible pilgrims. She loves water, playing outside, bike parades, sunflowers and sun showers. More on her misadventures may be found at:

1 comment… add one
  • Heather’s mention of the Franciscan retreat holding an eco-spiritual place midst rampant industrialization is a reminder and inspiration for us as we work our tails off to take care of the little refuge we call “home.” While there’s an inner refuge of great importance, I doubt our ability to access it without healthy outer refuges. Best wishes in your pilgrimage.

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