Up U.S. National Parks



Travel is always an educational experience.  If awe is the beginning of philosophy and wisdom, then we have to let ourselves be awed by the world around us and the people we meet.  Travel is more than recreation, at least if done with attention to the surroundings and the subtle varieties of landscape and culture, language and art, architecture and food, feasts and rituals.

bryce.jpg (131646 bytes)This remarkable view is at the start of one of the trail heads in Bryce Canyon National Park in the state of Utah.  It was enough to awe the hikers, as the photo demonstrates.  Even if early settlers considered the Canyon Lands of Utah an awful place to loose cattle, they remain an awe inspiring locale.

Once, after a week camping in Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming, I wondered what theology would look like if it were constructed, not in the confines of an office or library, but under the watchful eyes of nature.  The Tetons make up the youngest mountain range in North America, yet their 12,000,000 year age puts the entire scope of human history into humble perspective.

I grew up in the New Orleans, Louisiana area, along the Gulf Coast of the United States, and have lived in Mobile, Alabama (1964-67); Dallas, Texas (1967-1970); Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1970-1974); near Tübingen, Germany, in the town of Rottenburg-Kiebingen, along the Neckar River (1976-83); and for the last twelve years in Berkeley, in the Bay Area of California, where the earth is alive and trembles regularly to let you know it.  

A couple summers were spent in Central America-- Guatemala and El Salvador.   In the summer of 2000, I was able to make my first visit to Asia, when I attended ordination services in Seoul, South Korea.  A year later, summer 2001, I was able to visit Hong Kong; Manila, the Philippines; as well as Xiamen and Shanghai, China.  During March and April, 2002, I was back in Asia, visiting Tokyo, Kobe, Kyoto and Hiroshima, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Beijing, Shijiazhuang, and Xiamen, China; Hong Kong, Macau, and Tapei, Taiwan.  May 2002 was spent in Germany, where I had done doctoral studies years ago.

August 15, 2002