Cornwall calling 2023

Post 4/2023 Saturday 11 February . . . We’re about to hop across the pond to Cornwall UK. Our routine has been to return in winter/spring to counties Cornwall (and Devon) in southwest England. We’re returning to Carbis Bay on the north Atlantic coast. We first visited England in 1975. It was part of a busman’s holiday where I combined vacation with a writing assignment involving Mennonite ministries in Brussels, Paris and London. Visits to Wales and Scotland have been equally rewarding, Ireland awaits.

Why Cornwall?

Friends. It’s a joy to interact with friends in person–here, there, everywhere–and when that’s not possible to connect online and, oh so rarely, via post.

Footpaths. Walking on our own or with the West Cornwall Footpaths Preservation Society, or the once-a-month St Anta walking group, conversation ranges widely, and lives and voices from the ages almost whisper in my ear.

Sea, fields and moors. These are areas of outstanding beauty to explore on foot, providing settings for reflection and sundry musings, experiencing the moment.

Routines. Shopping for groceries, cooking, entertaining, being entertained, visiting the library, eating out, reading, writing, taking the bus or train to areas farther afield, worship and related activities at church–these all add up to satisfyingly normal routines, given the Cornish twist (and accent).

Food and drink. Fish and chips, pasties, cider, the occasional cream tea, pub grub, Sunday roast, soups, cakes, coffees–there’s abundant nourishment for body and soul.

History and prehistory. Museums, books, sights, feast days, festivals.

Cornwall today. Music, theatre, galleries, worship at St Anta & All Saints, Evensong at Truro Cathedral, views of farming and fishing, front row to political, economic and social challenges, regeneration efforts.

Discipline. Learning to live with less, as in living out of two suitcases and two backpacks, plus the few items we’ve stored with friends Noel and Lynne.

Said in song

In Cornwall we’re simply living “home from home.” It’s the touristic off-season, so we feel a good bit local. In blogs from Cornwall in the next weeks and months I’ll cover some of our ventures and adventures.

Last Sunday at church in Goshen we sang the hymn, How Many Times We Start Again, by Thomas H. Troeger (USA) 2009 Oxford University Press, music Scottish traditional harmony by Bradley Kauffman 2020 (USA). The hymn is included in Voices Together, (MennoMedia, Harrisonburg, Virgina, 2020) well describes something of our material and spiritual pilgrimage.

Stanza 1 “How many times we start again on faith’s unwinding way; we want, dear God, to settle in, to build a home and stay, but then a dream, a voice, a light disturbs our peace and rest and sets before our straining sight new stages on our quest.”

Stanza 3: “But greater than the cost we find is our expanded view of what it means, with heart and mind, to trust and follow you; we hear a music never heard, a diff’rent light descends, and meeting strangers, we are stirred to welcome them as friends.”

Photos missed last week

I had trouble downloading photos last week. Here are some.

Lots more to say but packing calls.



10 thoughts on “Cornwall calling 2023

  1. John and Marty. Blessings as you travel yet again to Cornwall this week. Pleasant memories of traveling to Padstow with you in 2002, was it? We’ll anticipate another round of communiques from Carbis Bay and environs. Ken and Audrey


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