A Journey of Sea and Stone: How Holy Places Guide and Renew Us

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Broadleaf Books
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5.0 X 7.0 X 0.8 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

Tracy Balzer is a speaker, spiritual director, retreat leader, and an oblate at Subiaco Abbey. She is the author of Thin Places, A Listening Life, and Permission to Ponder, The founder and leader of Sea & Stone Journeys, she organizes spiritual pilgrimages to the British Isles. Tracy also hosts the podcast A Listening Life, where she guides listeners through the prayerful practice of lectio divina. Tracy lives in Siloam Springs, Arkansas where she serves as director of Christian formation at John Brown University.

Scott Erickson is a touring painter, performance storyteller, and creative curate who mixes autobiography, biblical narrative, and visual aesthetics that speak to our deepest experiences. He is currently touring his multimedia storytelling piece "Say Yes: A Liturgy of Not Giving Up on Yourself" and is the author of Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-With-Us Then, Here, and Now. Scott is most loved by his wife, Holly, and their three children in Austin, Texas.

"[A] glowing testament...Christian naturalists will relish this." --Publishers Weekly

"Which books keep you sane when the world locks you down? For me it's those with marrow-deep ties to the geography they describe--Wendell Berry's Port William stories, Timothy Egan's pilgrimage to Rome, Henry Beston's year on the beach at Cape Cod. New to this heartening shelf is Tracy Balzer's A Journey of Sea and Stone, the tale of her longstanding love for the cloistered island of Iona, off the Scottish coast. We all have places we seem to have known forever. In lucid, rhythmic prose, Balzer develops a spiritual travelogue of solace and gratitude, of openness to wonder and reason, and of a longing for what Beston called 'the dear earth itself underfoot.' This is a welcome book." --Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River

"The ancient tradition of spiritual pilgrimage reminds us that ordinary places can be holy places. Tracy Balzer takes us to the holy Isle of Iona to find fresh inspiration and meaning in our daily lives. If you want a spiritual pilgrimage that will renew your faith, you don't have to travel far. All you have to do is read this book!" --Dr. Winfield Bevins, director of church planting at Asbury Seminary and author of Ever Ancient, Ever New

"A visionary, Tracy Balzer draws us in to a vivid sense of what holiness looks like, feels like. She demonstrates how anyone who experiences this transformative power can never again be the same--it is that radical." --Luci Shaw, Writer in Residence, Regent College and author of The Generosity and Eye of the Beholder

"This book is about listening and looking and learning; it is about being deeply there to hear the heartbeat of a place, and the teaching that comes from all these things is gracious and generous. This work is like a polished serpentine stone from St. Columba's Bay on Iona: hold it to the light and you find more every time you look." --Kenneth Steven, author and poet

"The real gift of Balzer's book is learning that our ordinary lives and receptive hearts can become sacred 'islands' in their own right as we create sanctuaries for ourselves and one another." --Lisa Deam, author of 3000 Miles to Jesus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life for Spiritual Seekers

"Tracy Balzer has given us all a wonderful gift. She invites us into sacred spaces and reminds us that we, on our own soulful journeys, are on holy ground." --Brent Bill, author of Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality