Now…Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain (to be alone) to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed… (Matthew 17.1-2)

        “WE ARE ANIMAL in our blood and in our skin,” wrote Jay Griffiths in her book, Wild: An Elemental Journey. “We were not born,” according to her way of feeling or thinking, “for pavements and escalators but for thunder and mud…What is wild cannot be bought or sold, borrowed or copied. It is. Unmistakeable, unforgettable, unshamable, elemental as earth and ice, water, fire and air, a quintessence, pure spirit, resolving into no constituents. Don’t waste your wildness: it is precious and necessary. Wildness is the universal songline…”

It is no coincidence that Peter, John and James are  in the wild when they experience Christ transfigured, when they catch a glimpse of their familiar, yet enigmatic spiritual leader, Jeshua, as he really is. Jesus has taken them away from the crowds, up into the wilderness, where so often he goes alone to pray. He shows them his own spiritual path and the wilderness paths of the prophets and mystics from before and after their own allotted time on this earth.

Many of our churches in Gower are built on the sites of the cells of the earliest Celtic saints, who came here because it was a wild place. As far as European cultures were concerned, Gŵyr was a near-island sticking out from the edge of the world into the unknown, untameable sea. Like the Desert Fathers, with whom it seems the early Celtic church was in communion, our mystic ancestors learned to read the beautiful, dangerous land-seascape, not as consumers, extracting what is useful, informative or entertaining, but as lovers, desiring to taste and smell its material/spiritual secrets, lingering over it, drinking it into the soul, until Christ in them be transfigured and made bright white in wild, holy Light.

It’s holiday time now and some of us will, quite ironically, go way from this place to seek solitude and so be refreshed; may the time be deeply blessed. But there will also be many coming to Gower seeking what for most of them isn’t even consciously known. In Christ, may we be conscious of their hunger and may we seek to help whoever we can, quietly and gently, connect with this wild, holy place and, through this, may Christ awaken to them the Christ in them.

Bendith Duw i chi.   Fr Tim



~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on August 5, 2017.

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