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Gratitude for a Prayer Mat

— by Tegan Northwood / April 2019

I think I just want to express gratitude for something this morning. I have been reflecting again on the miracles you can encounter while travelling and how grateful I am for my current prayer mat. I was GIVEN this (I think it's a high-quality, probably expensive mat - this would be pretty expensive here) in Granada by a man in a shop along the canal. I was wanting to buy a good quality one having been doing the prayer once a day for about five years previously.

He was Spanish so it took awhile to get across what I was looking for, and when he did he was obviously surprised by the fact that I was a white western woman... I think I had been told to go there by another shop owner, but there were only cheap cloth ones in this shop so I said 'don't worry, it's okay, but would you know where I can buy a better one?' He told me to come back and meet him the next day. I did but due to a phone messup I was a bit late... I arrived back there to find he had come to meet me on his day off and brought me a mat from his own personal collection, and would not accept any payment for it. Looking at it I knew it was good quality and would be expensive to buy. 
I wish I could have thanked him more properly, it was a real gift. I spontaneously gave him a hug (which may have been a bit awkward for him...not sure).
This was already quite soon after an amazing and unexpected experience in Cordoba at the ancient Mezquita there which I literally had no idea about before I went there!
There is no way I could have forseen this happening but it turned out to be a true highlight of my trip last year.
Remembering that. ❤️ Not quite a year but not far off.

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— Reflections and photo by Tegan Northwood, who contributed her story and photos from Spain at the Mezquita de Córdoba.

Resurrection Sunday dawn service in Chubikopi, Solomon Islands

Easter 2019, Chubikopi Village, Marovo Island, Solomon Islands

Photos by Lima Tura

The Rev’d Lima Tura writes: “The resurrection of Christ being dramatized by the women! Blessed Resurrection Sunday to all! These women are from the neighbouring village where I serve in Seghe Theological Seminary. One student and I came to this place for our Easter outreach program. We arrived here since Maunday Thursday and will be leaving back to where I am on Easter Monday.. This is the Sunday dawn service Easter morning.”

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Easter Dawn service with the women at Chubikopi Village, Marovo Island, Solomon Islands - All photos by the Rev. Lima Tura

Happy International Women's Day!

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...I had no precedent for being valued. Everything that came from a woman’s experience was considered trivial. I wasn’t sure if my work would shift that paradigm or not, but I had to try.
— artist Carolee Schneemann, 1939-2019