Moving On to Other Things

Tree Planting Day during our visit to Glencoe Wood in May, 2013

Tree Planting Day during our visit to Glencoe Wood in May, 2013

In 2012 we began this Blog as a journal of our world here at RavenOak, and as a promotion for the great work being done by the Highland Titles folks at Glencoe Wood near Duror Scotland.  We were proud to win their “Best Blog” contest, which included a two-week trip to Scotland, where we visited our “plots” in Glencoe Wood and stayed at beautiful Tulloch Far.  And we’ve had a delightful time with this blog, with Highland Titles, and with all of you.  But the time has come where we find ourselves moving on to other things and other places, and with three other blogs between us, we’ve decided it’s time to let this one drift of into the Scottish mists.  We’ll leave it up for awhile, because it still gets quite a few visits.

The Order of Julian of Norwich

The Order of Julian of Norwich

In terms of Great Britain, our focus is moving down south, to Norwich, and the Church of Saint Julian (in the header, above.)

We have both recently rejoined the Order of Julian of Norwich, as Oblates, an order we helped to form way back in 1984. Will’s blog is especially about “Things Julian.” Will has decided to leave his bagpipes to a younger time in life, and has taken up the violin.

We are collaborating on “All Good Gifts,” a vegan-oriented cooking blog.  In addition, we both have active blogs in our spiritual tradition.  Glyn writes “New Every Morning,” and Will writes “The Goodness of God.”  We invite you to visit us in these locations, and express our thanks for your journey with us here.

Peace,  Glyn & Will

All Good Gifts

All Good Gifts

New Every Morning

New Every Morning

The Goodness of God

The Goodness of God

Another word of wisdom from the “Cabernet Man”


Baby, It’s Cold Outside

You know it’s cold when even the piles of snow have icicles ~

In the Mall Parking Lot

In the Mall Parking Lot

It’s That Time of Year Again

daylight saving


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A Snowy Early Morning at RavenOak

snow wild

Allegro – or, Slow Progress on the Violin

Laird Will on the Violin

Laird Will on the Violin

A beautiful and (admittedly) simple Allegro by S. Suzuki.

And at the bottom of the page:
“Let us know how you’re playing.”

1. Are you practicing with a beautiful sound?
2. Is the tip of your bow steady?
3. Is your bow in good contact with the string?
4. Is your bow moving parallel to the bridge?
5. Is the scroll of the violin parallel to the floor?
6. Are you avoiding tension in the left hand?
7. Are your fingers curved correctly when place on the string?
8. Are you listening carefully for accurate intonation?

At first this reminded me about the old joke of how to beat a tennis player who is better than you. Just before he gets ready to serve, ask him, “When you serve, do you breathe before you toss the ball up, or after?” Word has it that it will take him months to get his smooth serve back! But, truthfully, all those questions above are indeed necessary.

What is really interesting, though, is how it begins. The first question is always, “Are you practicing with a beautiful sound?” Isn’t that a lesson for life? Before you consider anything else, are you making a beautiful sound?

~ Laird Will

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Going Vegan for my “Beatles’ Birthday”


A big change in the works at RavenOak

Originally posted on All Good Gifts:


I will be 64 in a couple of weeks, and as everyone knows, 64 is your Beatles’ Birthday (will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?) I hadn’t really given any thought to how to mark the event, but something happened this morning that changed my mind.

Today was a snow day, which was a good thing because I woke up at 5:30 with a sinus headache that would definitely have made me late for work. I went back to sleep and when I finally made it downstairs at 6:30, Will gave me a hug and said, “You have had your last half and half latte.” That was when I noticed that he had several pages of small-type text in his right hand. I said, “That’s OK, I’ll drink it black,” and took a step toward the French Press. Too late, he had already started…

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Ballachulish Slate for Cala na Clachan

Future site of Cala na Clachan - Stonehave outdoor chapel and gathering place


The Slate of Ballachulish

The slate was in the hills
before it was in the clans,
from ancient time before the ills
of oppression and war were man’s.
So from this strength of slate
and iron were they made,
and o’er that rock great
and humble were alike arrayed
throughout the glen
in croft and byre, when
the soldiers came.
From the sorrows rose the flame
of freedom in their hearts,
with the toughness the old slate imparts
to soul and limb;
making bright their courage
when their hopes were dim . . .

Today beneath the ancient hills
the slate remains;
its iron strength runs still
in Highland veins.

© 2013, Laird Will Melnyk


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