Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Little Bit Celtic

It's true. It's hereditary. Our blood is mixed but there is a strong rivulet from the Celtic stream.

There are those of us who thrill to the sound of a piper's Scotland the Brave or Amazing Grace. There is something very powerful in the appearance of a man in kilts, knee sox and gillies. Tales of Bonny Prince Charlie, of the courageous and unbending Covenanters and many others strengthen and encourage. We may no longer paint our faces as in Braveheart but the spirit is stirred by these things.

I'll not mention the fact that there are faerie houses in our gardens and all that sort of silliness because today the thoughts are along the lines of the spirituality that goes with this tradition.

There may be those of our branch who would choose to go back only as far as the Scots Presbyterian influence, yet for today's specific thought we must travel farther back.

This focus is a word really, and all that word brings to heart and mind.
"anamchara". The word means 'soul-friend', one who is a spiritual counselor.

We all need someone with whom to share our deepest self. This so we can hear and see ourselves as we truly are. (As Robert Burns wrote:"O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!") We need someone who can encourage us to be our best selves, a kindred spirit who can be trusted to be truthful.

Our perfect Soul-friend is most certainly our loving Lord. That in no way diminishes the need of our humanity for one 'with skin on'.

So Dear Reader, may you have a true anamchara in your life, one who travels your journey along side, who strengthens your heart in God.

Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;
Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!
Deep peace, pure green of grass to you'
Deep peace, pure brown of quiet earth to you;
Deep peace of pure blue sky above you;
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you;
In the name of the Three who are One,
Peace, Deep peace;
And by the Grace of the King of Heaven and all these,
Peace, Deep Peace!


  1. A man in kilt, playing the bagpipe...makes me weak in the knees, and my spirit sigh.

    Love the word, love the concept, how hard to always find a soul-friend. Glad I have you!

  2. Deep peace to you.

    ps. Your son has been taking a few bagpipe/chanter lessons from a lady at church....not wearing a kilt just yet though! :)