Two months ago, my husband and I moved aboard a boat and moved ourselves to rural Olympic Peninsula, Washington.
My spiritual life is forever changed.
Not only did we downsize from a 1,700 square foot apartment, we moved from downtown Olympia to an island without a formal town on it. My carbon footprint went from massive to slightly-less-than-massive.
But much more than that, I find that I can breath easier out here. The pace of my footsteps has slowed and my appreciation for the many hues of green has deepened. I watch herons and jellyfish and deer from my spot on the back of the deck.
For years, I have thought about the ways running has slowly and easily become my Mass, my spiritual ritual, as my ability to endure formal Mass has waned. Now, I run each morning with the regularity the 80- and 90- year olds at my home parish gave to daily Mass at 7am. I continue to run from docked home on the boat.
But I also find myself in awe of this place. I am surrounded by more natural beauty than I have ever known in my life. I take deep breaths of greens and water and moss and fir and madrona. I have never felt so connected to the land. It is both surreal and wonderful. And deeply spiritual.
Kate Dugan is a co-editor of From the Pews in the Back and is happily enjoying sunny days in the Pacific Northwest.