My Boots Were Made For Walking

"Making the Way by Walking" is the fourth practice of pilgrimage and I am not sure I understood what that meant before, but I had been living with it for some time...

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.

When we started our journey in Scotland this past May, we were encouraged to set an intention for our time on the road. To be honest, I don't really remember what mine was! I do know I was in need of some healing, and it has taken me miles and time, but I am grateful for every step.

"The Practice of Making the Way by Walking" discusses how the way is MADE by walking. Our lives are made by living them, not plotting and planning every little detail ahead of time. We can have a general idea of where we are going but we also need to open up and "yield" to what comes onto our path.

When I finally made my way to Iona in 2012 for an extended period of volunteering, I felt a certain buzz of magic around me at all times. I know it was Iona and Iona has that way about it, but things would happen to propel me along on a constant basis because I was open to whatever. I used to call it "divine GPS." This can be harder to allow when back on the mainland of life, when expectations and worries can creep in, but I continue to try and simply put one foot in front of the other and keep my eyes wide open ("Try" is the key word).

All of the best things in my life have come up "randomly." I am pretty sure that the start of every good plan has actually been something that had never been on my radar until one crazy moment in time. New friends, jobs, school, apartments, Sam, church choir, (which led to) voice lessons, (which led to) opera chorus. Even visiting Scotland for the first time was an afterthought.

Giving up control once in a while and keeping our eyes open can do wonders, alter our views and widen our path.

Let's say it again: The way is MADE by walking.