Beginning Again

Walking Around Edinburgh, 2016

When the dam breaks, the practice of being uncomfortable spills over into new beginnings. All the seeds that were sown start to grow and poke through the soil. It seems appropriate to put this out into the Universe today, since it's my birthday! Beginning again just comes naturally...

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.


One of the many great things about Pilgrimage (and life) is that we can start each day anew. When I was on Iona there were so many rituals for new beginnings...such as traveling to St. Columba's Bay (The Bay of New Beginnings) where we would take one stone to represent something we wanted to let go of (which we would throw back into the ocean) and another to represent something new we wanted to carry forth with us. I had two very powerful experiences with this ritual...they led me into new beginnings for sure. I did a little version of this along the River Tweed(?) in May. 

I had a definite period of being uncomfortable on our walk. It led up to returning to Edinburgh at the conclusion of our Way. Edinburgh is certainly not new to me...but it always seems to fill me with endless new feelings of familiarity and possibility (we should all have such a place in our lives and hearts). I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with my gorgeous friend, Christina, around whom I seem to always find inspiration. This visit seemed to bring me back around to things I had a passion for but pushed aside while restarting my life over the past 3 years. I went to a wonderful house (benefit) concert where I saw a band called, LAU (very popular but I had never heard of them). This was the start to my resetting and revisiting the idea of:

Social justice and food.

I met some incredible people who work in areas of social justice and our conversations filled me with more purpose than I had felt in a long time. Ideas about social justice were always around me on was just part of the every day to talk or hear about it. It has not come up much in my day to day since...while trying to pay bills and figure things out...figuring out who I was in my new life. Or, at least, I hadn't recognized it.

When I was discussing all of this at my friend's Edinburgh flat, I said, "But if there was only a way to combine social justice and food...with what I know how to do..." and she responded..."That's a huge thing here."

And a light was turned on because I had never really connected the two.

So another seed had been planted...