“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.