Roots Trip to the Castles in My Bloodline, Part 2

Continued from yesterday.


A tempest of Winters temper—mine—had blown through the Highlands of Scotland on our harried, hurried itinerary, and I pondered that now in Ireland. My working notion of a “roots” trip up until that point pertained only in the genealogical sense: Scotland and Ireland being, respectively, my maternal and paternal ancestral stomping grounds.

But in my review of the course on spiritual hearing I’d begun the month prior, a most delicious linguistic epiphany was about to present itself like low-hanging fruit.

As opposed to those cerebral terms for some ugly manifestations in me—weaknesses, patterns, compulsions, dysfunctions—which lacked the texture and energy of the issues I needed to confront, I revisited in the course manual the notion of spiritual fruit.

As explicated by St. Paul in his Letter to the Galatians, the nine fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

If you want to take an honest accounting of your produce in this department, take a road trip with your spouse and kids in another country. You might find yourself in many a moment, as I did, not much stronger than the dollar in the face of all that taxes you. [Read more…]

Roots Trip To the Castles in My Bloodline, Part 1

If you grew up in the Seventies as I did, you might recall a popular children’s T-shirt of the era—one at least popular among the reputedly disaffected youth of Cocopah Elementary in Scottsdale, Arizona. The caption (no graphics) went something like this:

My Parents Went On Vacation To Las Vegas and All I Got Was This Stupid T-Shirt.

Not just Las Vegas, of course; but Seattle, Chicago, New York, and so forth. Yet all we kids got—for the message was contagious despite the various places I had been with my parents—was a dusty, sunbaked playground in Scottsdale.

Fast-forward thousands of miles, and even more years than it seems, to the grassy, rain-soaked Highlands of Scotland where I just finished a hurried, harried “roots” trip with my wife and kids en route to a family sabbatical in Ireland. [Read more…]