I’m not really a collector of souvenirs. When traveling, I rarely take a photograph and even more rarely purchase a t-shirt, refrigerator magnet or snow globe to remind me of the adventure. I’ll purchase these items for others — a reminder of where their friend or family member went without them. (Is that cruel?) But I tend to just live in the moment, tuck away stories and share them as others desire or I have need. Otherwise, it’s on to the next adventure. This vacation was filled with memorable moments: Frenchpressed coffee, bald eagles, sea plane rides, ferry rides, the music of and conversations with our friend Morten Lauridsen, the poetry of Dana Gioia, art galleries, runs around the harbor, great meals, laughter and a lot of sleep. But… no souvenirs…

Lumi VerdugoI did, however, make one purchase during the journey. Morten introduced me to an artist whose work he admires — potter Lumi Verdugo. This kind and beautiful Chilean native lives on San Juan Island. I entered her home/studio, and my eye was immediately drawn to one of her creations. I looked at many others, but I kept coming back to this one. Morten owns several of her pieces… I wanted — needed — this one. I inquired. She told me the price and the story. ‘The sculpture is pieced together with broken and marred pieces of pottery from my studio. I made it in honor of those whose lives were shattered in the Chilean earthquake of 2010. Atop the tower of rubble are two bowls – offerings of gratitude to God. Out of much brokenness there can always be hope and thanksgiving.’ It’s being shipped to my home.

Thank you for the time away. It was a good vacation. I have been fed in numerous ways. I am well rested. I am ready to step back into the brokenness, hope, grace, joy and thanksgiving that are ours as a family of faith.

— Jim