Gunilla Norris, a psychotherapist and writer, has sought in three previous books to tutor us in the art of everyday spirituality. Journeying in Place, a beautifully written volume of meditations, shows us how to keep an open house in our hearts for all things. Norris imaginatively muses upon the messages and meanings that come to her over a year of changing seasons on her two-acre farm lot and in her garden. She notes at the outset: "For me recalling the seasons and the small particulars of my life is something like developing photographs. I have lived with a certain perspective, in very specific moments of time. They are my inner snapshots."
Norris is adept at the art of long looking. The leaves that tumble to the ground in fall compel her to think about the need to trust and let go. The mice in her house she calls them nibbling saints give her a new definition of bravery: "To feel the fear one has and to own it."
Norris demonstrates another element of everyday spirituality as she makes connections between what she sees and the inner depths of her life. She yearns to be as secure in her nature as a skunk cabbage growing in the woods. Wild flowers tell her that beauty comes from within and doesn't have to be cultivated. And an old quince tree, the crone of the garden, helps her see that she can bear fruit in the later years of her life.
Best of all is her understanding of the proximity of poison ivy and jewelweed. Norris meditates upon them and concludes: "Something that looks like poison may lead to something very good. Something seemingly wonderful may have the seeds of destruction in it."
Gunilla Norris keeps the honorable tradition of everyday spirituality alive with this wonderful book. Reflecting upon the passing of 12 months, she affirms "the precious moments we have to live and to connect with all things. No love is ever lost in this universe."