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. One’s travel partner, therefore is of paramount importance.
I think about companions a lot; I notice who they are, when and where they appear, and what they trigger in me. It began, perhaps, many years ago when I read this in Crossing to Avalon by Jean Shinoda Bolen:
…. our fellow travelers on any significant journey are individuals whose stories we learn about and take to heart. Our companions are often important significantly as well. They can represent inner figures, aspects of significant others in our lives, possibilities for what we might ourselves become, reminders of who we were, or metaphors for our life situation.
On Monday, I welcomed my friend Angela from Australia. We traveled together through Scotland a year ago, as part of a larger group, but this is the first time we have seen each other since then. I welcome her to my home and my journey, and look forward to the gift of companionship that she is offering me; I hope that I, too, will be a good and reflective companion on her journey!
We wandered along the Southend seafront together, reconnecting and enjoying the sunset as we began to set our pace for the miles we’ll walk together this weekend.
Who are the companions in your life, and what are they reflecting for you?