Cathedral Grove

Hello! And Welcome…

Megan here. Many thanks for checking out my little seedling of a site, Cathedral Grove. Let’s go on an adventure, between the pines of possibility!

If you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to take a wander over to our About page to see what sort of posts you can expect in the future. It’s my hope that the site will change and grow for the better with time, so I couldn’t possibly tell you precisely where the path forward will lead. One thing is for sure – there will be bad, tree-related puns.  (Sorry. Not sorry.)

Do you have any ideas for topics you’d like to see explored on Cathedral Grove? Let me know! Comments are always encouraged and alternate views also quite welcome  – but please, share with respect and kindness. 

John Muir - Every Two Pines

A Wild Wander in Wales: Walking in the Brecon Beacons National Park

Destination - Wales, the Brecon Beacons NP

It’s been just a little over two weeks since the start of our six-month-long work sabbatical, and our adventures have now truly begun in earnest! 

After a week and a bit of local wanderings in the Yorkshire/Lancashire area with my partner Nick, we headed down to Wales. Driving southwest for just shy of four hours, we arrived at the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the site of our first adventures further afield. 

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Monday Mindfulness ~ March 11, 2019

Hello again, everyone.

Here’s hoping that this fresh dose of Monday Mindfulness finds you well – that you are happy and healthy, that you enjoy a few lovely adventures today and in the days ahead, and that you find time to be kind to yourself as well as to others. 

For today’s thought of the moment, here’s a lovely bit of writing from Indian-Canadian poet and illustrator Rupi Kaur. I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time, all the best to you all.

Rupi Kaur - Bloom

5 Books About Nature and the Environment Worth Reading This World Book Day

Today in the UK it’s World Book Day, which seems a fine time as any to pass along a few recommendations of some truly worthwhile non-fiction books concerning nature and the environment. I’ve enjoyed reading these books at some point over the past few years, and I suspect many of you might enjoy them too.

Let’s get right to it, shall we? And if you have a recommendation as well, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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It’s March 4th…

…the day we march forth toward adventure! (See what I did there? Honestly, we didn’t choose this particular date because of how it sounded, but now that I’ve thought of this connection I find the date rather appropriate, really!)

Yes, that’s right – today is the official beginning of our sabbatical. A few months off work to rest and re-center, to scratch that travel itch, to try new things and discover fresh interests, to have experiences and take part in training that might help us in the future both professionally and personally. 

Honestly, knowing what a worrier I can be about all the things, at all the times, I expected that as this day approached I’d be a big tangled ball of stress-yarn. Instead, I’ve felt lighter this weekend. As I was finishing my last few shifts for the time being this weekend, I noticed how positively different I felt. A weight was being lifted, and I could breathe deeply again. 

It feels so good to be in command of my time and energies for the next while and a bit, to be able to say ‘yes’ to experiences and endeavors that I’d ordinarily refrain from, feeling that I needed to reserve a significant chunk of myself for the intense, physically and emotionally draining work week ahead.

It might sound a bit cheesy, but today I feel like a superhero. Wonder Meg. 

I rather like that.

(Now I want to wear a cape.)

I’m so grateful to you all for joining me here on my little seedling of a site, and I’m really looking forward to sharing loads more content with you soon. Until next time, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in my journey a bit more. I’m sending all of you all the mental hugs and high fives I can.

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Monday Mindfulness ~ February 25, 2019

Greetings, everyone!

After a bit of a hiatus, Monday Mindfulness is back once more! Today, I’m sharing not one, but two new quote creations (I make all these little text-on-image thingamajigs via Canva, an excellent free graphic design tool which I can very much recommend to just about any and all fellow bloggers…) to help kick off the new week. It’s my last week of full-time work for a while, as I’ll be on a work sabbatical after this. Standing on the brink of adventure, it seemed appropriate to feature a few quotes on the topic of travel! So, here we are – a quote from 19th century French science fiction writer Jules Verne, as well as another quote by English Renaissance philosopher Francis Bacon.

All the best to you and yours this week. May you find a bit of time in your schedule for an adventure big or small, solo or with others!

Jules Verne - Travel If You Can

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Sabbatical Shenanigans: An Update on Things (Hopefully!) to Come

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Hello, lovely people!

There’s no Monday Mindfulness post again this week, but it will return once more before too long. You may have noticed that I’ve taken a little break from posting much of anything over the past few weeks. Fortunately, this hasn’t been due to any unfortunate events! Rather, it seemed best to put creative endeavors aside for a short while, just so Nick and I could focus more intensely on furthering our plans for our upcoming work sabbatical as we draw closer to its start.

So – what’s new with us? Well, mostly we’ve been working away as normal. We’re both adventurous activity leaders at a residential centre, so for around 12 hours each working day we’re looking after a group of primary school children and their teachers as we run them through a quick succession of activities like canoeing, climbing, archery, zipwiring, et cetera… When you’re working with a lovely group and things are going well, it’s quite enjoyable and fulfilling. Other times it may be that you’re having to lead a canoe session during a hail storm, or you’re breaking up fist fights between not-so-pleasant children, or you’re cleaning up buckets-worth of sick in the dorms… In other words, it can be a bit of a mixed bag, you know? You just never know what each new work day will bring. 

Anyway, we’ve been busily mapping out our sabbatical a little bit each weekend since just before the new year, and we’ve now got a better idea of when and where some things will be happening.  Read More

Monday Mindfulness ~ February 4, 2019

Hello, all. It’s Monday once again and that means it’s time for another installment of Monday Mindfulness.

This week, I’m feeling inspired by this quote from noted scientist and two-time Nobel Prize recipient Marie Curie.

What wise words are resonating with you this week?

Until next time, may your week be filled with good times and well-being. All the best to you all! 

Marie Curie - Understand More, Fear Less

Monday Mindfulness ~ January 28, 2019

Hello, all. Monday Mindfulness is back once again as we venture boldly into a new week.

This week, perhaps we can take a bit of inspiration from this Japanese proverb.

May your days this week and in the future be filled with strength, resilience, and positivity. May you be happy, and may you be well. Have a great week, everyone.

japanese proverb - mountain remains still

6 Things You Can Do to Help Bees Be Happy and Healthy

It may be winter but before we know it the ground will start to thaw, folks will be back out in their gardens, and bees and other pollinators will make an appearance once again. If like me you’re a big fan of these little flower-friends, you may have wondered how best to make your garden, flower boxes, or community allotment into a more bee-friendly habitat.  

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Let’s get right to it, shall we? Without further ado, here are a few easy ways you can help our planet’s precious pollinators.  Read More

18 Ways to Use Less Plastic in Everyday Life

Plastic is everywhere in modern times, seemingly unavoidable. From fresh produce to children’s toys to magazines, almost everything comes wrapped in it. It’s in our beauty products as tiny beads meant to ‘exfoliate,’ it thinly coats paper receipts and lines shiny wrapping paper, and it even makes an appearance as microscopic fibers in synthetic clothing. 

Humanity has produced over 9.2 billion tons of plastic since it began heavily manufacturing the material post-World War II. A staggering 6.9 billion tons of that has become waste, with the majority of it never making it to a recycling facility. Most plastics don’t breakdown very easily, with some plastics taking as long as 450 years to decompose. So those billions of tons of plastic waste are going to be around for a long time, making their way into the oceans and eventually entering the food chain.

Certainly, we as a species need to come up with some large-scale solutions to our plastic pollution problem. But what can you and I do in everyday life to help make things better? Below, find 18 small but impactful changes you can make in your everyday life to help decrease global plastic use.

Of course, the purpose of this list is not to make any one among us feel guilty for things not being done (I’m certainly not one to point fingers, as I can only put a check mark besides perhaps half of these habits as of present…), but rather to inspire and to get us all to be a touch more mindful of our choices.

Stay tuned for more on this topic in the near future. In the meantime, read on – and feel free to share your own tips for living a more environmentally-friendly life in the comments below.

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Monday Mindfulness ~ January 21, 2019

Hello, all! Welcome back. It’s time for this week’s installment of Monday Mindfulness.

This week’s quote comes from the multi-talented Dr. Mae Jemison, former NASA astronaut, doctor, and chemical engineer. 

mae jemison - never limit yourself

Monday Mindfulness ~ January 14, 2019

Hello, folks. Welcome back. It’s the start of a fresh week, full of possibilities, and that means it’s time for another installment of Monday Mindfulness.

This week, our thought for the moment comes from American novelist Nancy Thayer.

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!

nancy thayer - the universe is always speaking