That journey that you are on, how far does it go? How do you know when you have reached the end? Is there an end?
A pilgrimage is an interesting journey to set out on. You set out with intention, and then you traverse the journey to its destination. You might set out on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, circuit Mount Kailash in Tibet, or travel St. Kevin's Way in Ireland. Each charts its own course through a living story full of meaning.
Each and every step of a pilgrimage is a call to presence. Our days are considered holy when we traverse the path with presence, bearing witness to those who have gone before us and in whose footsteps we now travel. We are slowly waking up to the fact that the journey we are on is not about my awakening, but our awakening. Along the way, we are blessed to encounter a cohort of travelers on a path that looks much like our own.
But a pilgrimage is not about the destination. That would be site seeing. A pilgrimage requires a journey, a circuitous route through barren landscapes and difficult passes. The twists and turns of the journey unravel our old habits and perceptions and weave together a new story about who we are and our place in the world.
When we reach the end of the pilgrimage, we are faced with the difficult choice of how to move back into the world. We acknowledge the fundamental change that we have experienced, and are faced with the difficult work of how to take that next step forward.
This is the beginning of a life's work, work that really matters.