Mythologically, walking into a forest is stepping into something unknown where all manner of adventure and danger might lurk.
If we were chatting together about pilgrimage, pilgrim to pilgrim, heart to heart, I would comfortably admit that pilgrimage can take us much deeper than we ever expected to go.
Many years ago, when I was beginning to feel my early yearnings for pilgrimage, I came to understand that even if a pilgrim walks alone, pilgrimage is a community experience.
Here amongst the splendor of Notre Dame in the heart of Paris, we left our worries on the altar so that we could take our places in the colourful procession of pilgrims who have made similar journeys over the centuries.
We began, as pilgrims often do, at the Tour St Jacques, aligning our footsteps with the ancient path and the hearts and souls/soles of those who have made the journey before us.
Pilgrimage is sacred travel, where the inner outer journeys of the pilgrim are mirrored and marked, where meaning is found in every twist and turn of the path. Who one meets and what one sees carry meaning and import for the soul.
My days, at the moment, are filled with walks and maps and thoughts of intention and life-purpose. I am making a pilgrimage, walking from Paris to Chartres with a dear friend, as a way of preparing for my approaching 60th birthday.
Jeff finds things. Walking with him always turns up interesting finds…
A few years ago, I learned that the people we “chance” to meet while traveling can become dear and lifelong friends. It’s as it the Universe conspires to cross our paths, and all we have to do is recognize those heart connections when they happen.
Designing, drawing, and painting a canvas labyrinth is a big job. While it can be done singlehandedly, a community effort can offer a multitude of benefits, from the teaching of new skills to the deepening of friendships — not to mention being able to finish the job more quickly!