Pilgrimage

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“To feel the pull, the draw, the interior attraction, and to want to follow it, even if it has no name still, that is the “pilgrim spirit.”The “why” only becomes clear as time passes, only long after the walking is over.”
― Kevin A. Codd, Beyond Even the Stars: A Compostela Pilgrim in France

Each July my mother made her annual pilgrimage, with children in tow,  from the slums of East London to the hills of Moolum on the fringes of Kilkenny,two miles from the village of Kilmacow and six miles from Waterford, Ireland. She was coming home to the aunt who raised her, to the home where she had her fondest memories as a child. My mother inherited the house and moved there when she was sixty, and I in turn made my annual pilgrimage from Canada to Moolum till she died aged ninety. The house in Moolum was a shrine to the memories and spirit of past family.

I’ve been thinking of pilgrimages lately. I think it’s because I’m doing less walking since I’ve become involved with WordPress. I have good intentions, but then I access the laptop and WordPress, and find that five minutes of existence in the WordPress world equates to four hours in our world. 

After my running days came to an end due to back problems I began walking 1-2 hours a day and had kept at this consistently until the last few months. I want to revive this habit and have been thinking in terms of completing a pilgrimage. I love walking in the woods and isolated spots and I am trying to find a scenic spot to visit, where I can stay awhile and reflect.

Pilgrimage is a concept easy for me to accept because I have spent most of my life in the Catholic tradition. I remember an aunt forty years ago relating her experience of a pilgrimage to Lourdes. She described the communal and transcendent experience of thousands of people walking in the night, holding candles and praying and singing.

Most of us are involved in a pilgrimage of sorts, a spiritual journey, a great adventure, a quest to fully understand ourselves and find a place in this universe. Let’s enjoy the journey.

 

24 thoughts on “Pilgrimage

  1. It’s so true…logging into WP is like a black hole that sucks up time!!
    I am eager to spend more time out walking too. I am determined to be even stricter with myself after I have got through all the overtime I have agreed to do during December.

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  2. I find it intriguing that I have followed a number of blogs only to later find there is an Irish connection and I wonder if that’s why I’m drawn to the voice, the language that just resonates so much with me! I’m assuming this post is non-fiction.

    If you should decide upon a return visit to your mother’s home place I’m only a short journey away in a neighbouring county and would be happy to help with any information. One suggestion… Waterford County has developed the now very popular “Greenway”, you could plan a pilgrimage to suit your own schedule. http://www.visitwaterfordgreenway.com
    There is also a spiritual pilgrimage that incorporates a boat trip out of some part of Waterford and a walk of the Greenway with overnight(s) hotel accommodation.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Marie. You must be tuned to a universal Irish consciousness. My mother was Irish and my father Cockney. I blogged about ” My Irish Heritage” on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. Thank you for your suggestion I will definitely visit the Greenway web site.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s an interesting post. Like you I haven’t been walking enough in recent months. I was ill with pneumonia in Oct-Nov and just haven’t been able to get back into walking like I used too. The idea of going on pilgrimage appeals to me but these days it will probably be a pilgrimage to the library or to an art gallery 🙂 Maybe 2019 will bring a shift in energy. As you say – it’s all about enjoying the journey. Maybe part of the journey involves sitting around getting ready for the next energetic push forward.

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  4. purposeful post … we all do various pilgrimages throughout our life … best one is the inner one, knowing ourselves, our emotions and reactions!
    Have some good Catholic friends who are doing De Compostela in stages but meanwhile have started small regular pilgrimages here In oz like between churches or around Mary MacKillops known places …

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