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Wild Altars and Holy Wanderings
Reflections on the Spirit of Place

Lansing Simonds Moran


"This Reflection...

is gratefully dedicated to Matthew Fox, a compassionate, extraordinary visionary, without whose inspiration among his radiant Creation Spirituality community, this work would not have been possible."

One needs devotional time to come to resonate with places of reverence.

This contemplative memoir
reflects on my photographic and devotional
wanderings in nature,
and hopes to share, nourish,
or, even restore,
a sense of wonder in the reader.

My wish is that other spiritual seekers
and nature pilgrims on this path
may find inspiration
and a renewed sense of connection
with the spirit of place (genius loci)
as they journey.

And, perhaps,
to come to resonate with the idea
that noticing
is a form of prayer.

Holy Wanderings

I come to nature to see again,
more than to see, to behold.
And, to feel the solace of being seen,
to feel again the essence of my being,
to connect with my ancestors, all my relations,
to listen for my vision.
I come as artist and pilgrim seeking revelation.
I come for communion. 

I come for reverence and wonder.
Perhaps, I have forgotten again
and know a dryness of spirit.
At times I am the seed fallen far from the tree
and, I am bereft.
I come because the landscape will bless me
with my soulscape, once again. 

I come because I am wind
seeking the sounds and swirls of my soul.
I come because I am water seeking vessels.
I come because I am earth longing
to feel the touch of feet, paws, and beaks.
I come because I am fire
needing to burn away old growth.
I come because I must fly, and swim,
and root, and roar,
or die. 

I come because it is all that I know
but, that which I can never wholly remember.
I come for initiation -again.
I come for the way in beauty.
I come to worship.


C.W.W.: The interview in the NYT book review often asks what book one was given [that] had the greatest impact. I have never really had an answer to that...until now. I will read your book again and again and cherish [it] forever.
S.A.: I sat with your beautiful book quietly loving every page. It is such a treasure and such a soul-caressing and heart-moving experience… Thank you for sharing all of your gorgeous art and your sacred writings in this wonderful creation.
L.G.: What an extraordinary piece of art and heart.
H.S.: [This] book sings of [its author] artistic and spiritual, all at once.
P.L.: What a meaningful treasure!
G.R.: What a beautiful meditation on mind, spirit and nature this is.
L.S.: To my previous characterization as awesome I would add beautiful, poetic, profound, and Inspiring.
L.H.M. [Wild Altars] is wonderfully inspiring and beautiful.
H.W.W.: This book is a stunning collection of meaningful reflections and photographic images.

Noticing is my devotional ritual.
Responding is my pilgrim artist’s prayer.