Every pilgrimage begins with leaving the familiar and setting off toward the unknown.
We can spend countless hours planning and preparing for our journey, but not take the first step to leave the familiar bonds which hold us. It may be fear that keeps us there, or comfort, or inertia. We feel so at home there.
We need courage to start, as well as confidence and curiosity. We may be pushed by a desire to see what we have not seen, to sample what we have not tasted before.
Some of us may need to leave home more deeply than they need to arrive somewhere else. Some journey so they can share that they learn with others. Some are newly awake, and some try to forget.
You may be tempted to look back with longing after beginning your pilgrimage. You may struggle to recognize that you have already left home though not yet taken the steps that demonstrate your departure.
While we may travel together and help each other along the way, each of us is on our own pilgrimage. Like Chaucer’s pilgrims on the road to Canterbury, each of us has our tale.
Like our mythic heroines and heroes, we leave home and discover our challenges along the way. We may learn that the difficulties that we thought motivated us to leave are not the lessons we most need to learn. On our pilgrimage we begin to recognize our truest, deepest selves.
Each step gives us gifts and teaches us lessons that draw us closer to who we can become.
Each day, the familiar recedes behind us as we walk into the unknown. Each day, one step at a time, we work our way forward.
Where is your pilgrimage taking you so far?
What lessons and gifts have you gained along the way?
[Image by fazen]