Hello October! You arrive and everything changes – clothes, menus, decorations, setting on the thermostat. It’s not just external changes, though. There seems to be a call to go inward as the seasons turn, doesn’t there?
I’ve been exploring the idea of “pilgrimage” in my world. My husband and I took a 20 day trip to the West coast, mostly Washington with a little visit to California. Instead of walking, I was in a comfortable car. Instead of meeting strangers along the way, I encountered friends, cousins, his siblings/nieces/nephews and our sons, who traveled to join us. Some visits were over lunch or a cup of coffee, others lasted 3-4 days. We came home tired, yes, but full of love. Each encounter was “gift” and most carried multiple layers within them. My pilgrimage was not to a beloved shrine, though we did finally see Mt Rainier. It was not to a foreign land, though some of the feelings I had were new and unexpected.
A general definition of pilgrimage is “a journey to a sacred place.” My pilgrimage was a journey inward to feelings and memories, sacred indeed. Author Janelle Cepero speaks of the “call to pilgrimage” and says, “You have no choice. You have to answer.” One of the first stops was my mother’s grave. I was able to sit with her on the anniversary of her death, 48 years ago, and bring her with me as I traveled more deeply into the love of family. Cepero continues, “Some pilgrims go the direct route, right to the center of the holy of the holies, directly to the heart of the matter. Others take a more indirect route, circling around the outside of the sacred place, transforming the physical journey into a spiritual path of contemplation.”
My journey, much like my life, followed that indirect route, seeking experiences and encounters on a contemplative path. I’ve often seen my heart’s movement like the cat that circles around and around a cushion before settling down to rest. It seems my soul needs warmth and reassurance to trust the call, to rest in a pocket of ease. I return home wrapped in my mother’s love, this pilgrim’s heart opened “to discover what you were desperately searching for has always been and always will be within.”
Hello, little Leaves! Thank you for teaching me to sway and dance with the Wind. Thank you for sharing your beauty and path of Surrender. Let us treasure what was, savor what is and welcome what will be….together, in the mystery of our created world, in the arms of our Creator.
with love, Lisa