Hello, fellow wanderers and wonderers… I’m back, and so too are more regular updates on Cathedral Grove!
Yes, as of today it has been 6 whole months of putting my full-time employment on hold in order to travel near and far, visit friends, meet new friends, try a whole lot of delicious world food, acquire a taste for good beer and coffee, drink gallons of herbal tea, and just generally live my life to the fullest before needing to earn a bit more to keep the home fires burning and the wee cupboard stocked.
I still have a few rest and life administration days before I return to work, so I just wanted to pop by, say hi, and ask how all of you have been. There will be more details about my various adventurings in the coming days and weeks, but in the meantime I’d love to hear about what you all have been doing to stay healthy and well, the adventures big and small you’ve enjoyed, and the projects you’ve been most passionate about… whatever bits and bobs of joy, accomplishment, and personal growth you may feel inspired to share with the world!
Anyway, I’ll end this little update here. So hello once again, and goodbye for today. Until we next meet, may you be happy and well!
P.S. If you haven’t already, feel free to follow me on Instagram (@insta.meg.ram) for lots of travel inspiration! Most recently featured: Iceland, Sweden, and Montenegro. More photographs from my world travels to come soon…
Hello, everyone. Megan here, sharing something a little bit different with you all today on account of a certain other day coming up.
You see, Thursday, May 23rd will be my 29th birthday. Around this time last year I decided to do a small fundraiser for a favorite charity of mine, The Woodland Trust, which I have been a supporter of since 2016. With your generous help, I was able to raise £75 for this great cause. This year, I’m hoping to match that amount – or perhaps even surpass it.
The Woodland Trust really does vitally important work, in my humble opinion. Created in 1972, it is now the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, helping to restore ancient woodlands and create lots of new native woodlands too. If you would like to know more about what they do, please check them out via the link provided.
If you can donate a small amount to this cause, it will be immensely appreciated. And if you can’t or don’t wish to donate but would be happy to share a link to my JustGiving page with others, your kindness would also be greatly appreciated.
In advance, many thanks!
…and to celebrate, I’m giving away free e-hugs to all!
I know it’s no free all-expenses paid trip around-the-world (…we’ll have to save that giveaway for 100,000 follows, I think…), but free hugs are also pretty great and they won’t give you jet lag so that’s nice too, I suppose.
Anyway, thank you SO much to one and all for helping me reach this meaningful milestone. 100 followers may not seem a lot to some, but it means a great deal to me. Thank you all once again for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing as you have so often done over this past year and a bit.
Hello and huge thanks, everyone! Because of all you lovely people out there kindly following my little seedling of a site, Cathedral Grove has put down strong roots and branched out in all sorts of ways that really please me.
One year ago today, I published my first post – Hello, and Welcome! – here on Cathedral Grove. Since then, I’ve shared over 70 posts on topics near and dear to my heart, primarily focusing on travel + adventure, nature/environment, and wellbeing.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. I’ve certainly enjoyed working on this little creative project of mine, and I hope that you’ve taken something positive away from it as well.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet, but there will of course be more to come soon, so please stay tuned!
In the meantime, many thanks once again to one and all!
…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.
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
Just popping in to wish you all a very pleasant Winter Solstice today. Sure, it may mean that today is the shortest day of the year, but that just means that the days will only start getting longer from here!
Here’s hoping that wherever you may be you are content and you are well.
Just to let you all know, there likely won’t be much in the way of posts here on Cathedral Grove over the next two weeks or so as I’m visiting my family for the holidays. A more regular posting schedule will resume in the new year.
Here’s wishing all of you a very happy Thanksgiving!
No matter who you are or where you’re from, I hope your day is filled with joy and gratitude, love and laughter. Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you’ll find a moment or two to be thankful for the good things in your life, whatever they may be.
What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?
For me, well, I am always so profoundly grateful for my amazing parents, for their unconditional love, their positive example, and their understanding. Mom and Dad, I know it’s been difficult for you both at times these past few years, what with my meeting my partner-in-adventure and in so doing becoming an accidental expat. I’m grateful that our connection and our love is strong at any distance. Looking forward to being home in the USA for a bit soon!
I am also incredibly grateful for Nick, my aforementioned partner-in-adventure of over 4 years now. Nick, my dear, your kind heart and generous soul inspire me every day. So looking forward to whatever we might happen to do next!
I am so very grateful for these things and much, much, much more…but I shall leave it at that for this post.
Until next time!
On Friday, American chef, writer, and TV host Anthony Bourdain passed away at the age of 61, the manner of death reportedly suicide.
Honestly, reports of celebrity deaths do not usually phase me. It isn’t at all that I don’t care – no. Even when unfamiliar with the person, my heart goes out to their family and friends and all the others they may have positively impacted in their life. Any death is a great loss to someone. But this particular news – I must say – hit me a bit harder than usual.
There have been many moving tributes to the man, his words, and his deeds in the days since (such as this one from the network for which Bourdain worked, CNN), so I won’t attempt to summarize and eulogize his life and works here. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed watching his shows, I appreciated his unapologetic honesty about his struggles, and I admired his open-minded acceptance of people from all walks of life around the world.
Unfortunately, suicide as a cause of death is on the rise in the USA. According to a recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention release, the suicide rate has risen by about 30 percent in 25 states over the span of time between 1999 and 2016.
These are heavy things to consider, for sure, but hopefully something positive can come from their discussion. I have noticed, for instance, that in each news report about Bourdain’s passing (as well as that of 55-year-old American designer Kate Spade who also took her own life this past week), the report has ended with a helpline number or link to another important mental health and suicide prevention resource. Good mental health is integral to our overall well-being, so the more ways we know of to help maintain it, the better.
For anyone out there who may be struggling, please know that you are never alone, you are loved. There’s a particular type of meditation called loving-kindness which includes the saying of a mantra I’d like to share with you now so that you might share it with yourself and others in the future during moments of unrest… ‘May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.’
Please also find below a few resources for yourself or others if needed. I hope they can be of some positive assistance.
For UK residents, the NHS has a comprehensive list of helplines and support groups to do with everything from anxiety to OCD to eating disorders.
No Monday Mindfulness post this week. It will return shortly, however – I promise!
I continue to be in awe of this Spring here in West Yorkshire. With only perhaps 2 or 3 days excepted, it has been a Spring of clear skies and bright, soul-warming sunshine, the deepest blues and the most vibrant greens. Today is no exception.
Earlier on this particular beautiful day, I went out to our local park where I enjoyed a nice fresh-baked pastry and began reading a book I’ve treated myself to on account of my upcoming birthday. The book is ‘The Nature Fix’ by Florence Williams, and so far it’s a very interesting read about the ways in which nature helps us to be healthier, happier, and more creative.
Speaking of my upcoming birthday, I’ve decided to do a small fundraiser for a favorite charity, the UK’s Woodland Trust, in lieu of asking for ‘stuff’. I’ll post the link to my Just Giving page here. If you’re feeling so inclined, please consider a donation of a few pounds. It’s a great cause supporting the protection of ancient British woodland and the growth of new forests for generations to come.
Here’s the link.