Answering The Call

My notebook of choice, this time around

Admittedly, I am very out of practice with this blogging thing! But one of the things I have taken away from my most recent pilgrimage to Scotland is that we can start again each day...

As I wrote in my June Newsletter, I want to to take a look at the "Practices of Pilgrimage," as outlined in Christine Valter Painter's, The Soul of a Pilgrim. These include:

1. The Practice of Hearing the Call and Responding.
2. The Practice of Packing Lightly.
3. The Practice of Crossing the Threshold.
4. The Practice of Making the Way by Walking.
5. The Practice of Being Uncomfortable.
6. The Practice of Beginning Again.
7. The Practice of Embracing the Unknown.
8. The Practice of Coming Home.

I think I first heard the call to go on a Pilgrimage when a group of friends came back from walking the Camino de Santiago. They held a connections class at our church to talk about it, and it really inspired me. They were filled with such a glow and shared such wonderful thoughts and words. I knew, then, that I needed to experience something similar. So when talk of doing a walk in Scotland began...I knew I had to be involved. I's Scotland! I began to save money and then sort of put it all on the back burner. There were some difficult choices, financially, because I thought I was going to be able to use my airline miles but that ended up not being an option. In the end I took the plunge and trusted that it would all work out because it was something I felt I really needed to do. I actually didn't really think about the trip much after I bought my plane ticket because I had so many things going on in my life to distract me. However, by the time May rolled around, I was in definite need of a mind re-set.

Pilgrimage trips, for me, seem to always come at just the right time. When I found myself on Iona in 2009, the experience kicked me into a whole new chapter of my life. It took me a little while, but I had answered the call in a big way. That began a 3 year process of changing my whole life. This past May was more of a fine tuning and inner attending to some inner stuff that had been a result of all the changes I have made during the time Post-Iona.

This trip did not include Iona, instead we walked "The Borders Abbeys Way." Every day I got up and answered the call.