Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Journey

A while back I was reading posts from a Pilgrimage Listserv for one of the famous pilgrimage journeys from France (well, all over the world really, but "beginning" in France) and traveling to the northwestern most corner of Spain to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella. I've been interested in this pilgrimage since I learned of this specific medieval pilgrimage journey. It got me to thinking about our separate journeys in life.

One of the "pilgrims" was describing this long and difficult journey that can take more than two months to make on foot crossing all sorts of terrain and encountering all sorts of people. He (or she, I don't recall) said that you start off in an almost euphoric state, because it is so beautiful, because you have prepared for it -- for many reasons, but it feels easy because it is new and different.

Then, after a few days or a week, the going gets a little tougher, the terrain changes, the land is flat and dry and not nearly so lushly beautiful. There are no shady trees to protect you from the elements. There is still a special beauty. But you start to doubt yourself.

And then it hits you, you have come so far, how can you possibly quit?

Then you get excited about the end of the journey, the scenery changes again and you enter a more populated region, you almost dread coming to your destination. Well, dread may be too strong a word. It's like a favorite song you don't want to end.

The journey is physically taxing, emotionally trying and spiritually altering. You are never the same again. The journey teaches you things you won't recognize immediately, but you are changed.

Where are you in your journey? Excited about the beginning? Bogged down by the "dry spells" and/or monotony? Euphoric because you're near your destination? Share where you are.

Enjoy your journey.

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