And so we walk…
The word pilgrimage conjures up images of walks for religious purposes yet going on a pilgrimage doesn’t have to be specific to a faith. Perhaps it's as simple as a walk with a purpose. According to Wikipedia, a pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. There are many famous pilgrim walks including Camino de Santiago de Compostela and to Mecca but even thru-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail might admit to tackling the arduous trip for some introspection and soul-searching. Or maybe some lesser known trails that might serve the purpose of a pilgrimage including The Hebridean Way in Scotland, Caminno di Francesco (St. Francis Way) in Italy, or Nambe Falls to the El Santuario de Chimayo in New Mexico.
Perhaps a pilgrimage is as simple as taking a walk with purpose… being present with each step.
I do my best thinking while walking, at times my thoughts fly around like a hummingbird but always, I return refreshed and renewed. I’ve never gone for a walk that I later regretted.
Last spring, I had an opportunity to visit the El Santuario de Chimayo in northern New Mexico. I wasn’t sure what to expect… 1000’s of people regardless of denomination or religious (or lack thereof) affiliation visit this little chapel in the rural mountains outside of Santa Fe. To say it was moving would not do justice to this sacred place. My mum and I walked around the grounds all afternoon healing, recovering, absorbing and just being…
Going for a walk with purpose whether it’s a mile or 2000 is good for what ails us…
Take your knitting along and stop to knit a few stitches along the way (weather depending).
As we walk along this path we call peace, I would be remiss if I didn’t include that going for a walk is not always an option for everyone, not all bodies are “able.” I’ve just begun reading Handywoman by Kate Davies, the knitwear designer extraordinaire from Scotland. It’s made me think about life in a new way… how we come to terms with who we are. But that’s a story for another day.
Peace seed #4.
Today’s seed is simple… be a pilgrim… let’s go for a walk with purpose, if able.
Or at least the task seems simple at first glance but to practice presence maybe a bit more challenging.
So, today, head out for a stroll, be mindful of your steps, breathe in the fresh air, take note of your surroundings, the colors, the textures, the seasonal landscape.
pause, presence, purpose…
More information on Peace Pilgrim can be found here.