Sunday Letter: Ritual of Presence

published3 months ago
1 min read

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

The wind chimes were a gift from my mother-in-law, as was the farm table I write from each morning. The table was discovered in a home she rented in the Texas Hill Country many years ago. It has moved with us to Wyoming and back, and will travel with us wherever the winds of change lead us next.

The discovery of this sacred writing space, was once in a writers house. A secluded property, only its gate visible from the road. The winding driveway led you down past live oaks and wild flowers to a house built to take in the view. Entering the space, you know why a writer chose that place to commune with nature and language. A place that begged you to unplug and restore your sense of self, imagination, and soul.

These two material gifts are rich in symbolism and provide grounding for integrating my whole self with my environment. A healing practice I take part in daily.

The sounds from the chimes are reminiscent of church bells of my childhood, without the deep gothic tones of a cathedral. These sounds are more lyrical, playing along in the background allowing the entrance of a morning roster call in the distance, squirrels scolding our cat, a woodpecker doing his thing, all accompanied by a crescendo of rustling leaves. The layers of sounds are endless.

The invitation or perhaps invocation of ritual each week is one of my favorite discoveries of reflective writing with nature. I longed for that connection to myself out of the confines of my memories of childhood participation in religion. I needed a private ceremony to honor self and earth that I could access whenever and wherever I needed it.

Do you have a weekly ritual of presence? How do you hear the song of your soul?

Be well,


Nature Writing Camp July 3-31, 2023

On July 3, 2023, we begin our nature writing summer camp. An informal learning community of people writing alone together. There are no Zoom calls. Our format includes access to a daily email like this one that includes a series of engaging lessons, audio segments, and activities for participants to explore the themes of self-discovery, ecological consciousness, mindfulness, and sustainable creative living.

Our writing camp offers a holistic approach to personal and ecological transformation through the medium of reflective nature writing.

Participants can share writing with me via email, and choose to have their expressions shared in our private weekly roundup. Community writing will not be shared outside of our writing circle. There is never pressure to share your personal writing with others. We honor the sacred space of our journals, and instead encourage participants to share discoveries of meaningful moments in nature as they feel inspired to do so.

Won't you join us?

Kathy Donchak

I am a wife, mom, nature, and book lover living in Central Texas. My work is the garden of my interests. The best way to get to know me is to subscribe to my Sunday Letter.

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