Walking The Pilgrim’s Way

This snow-covered bridge is an appropriate image for today. Outside, snow has been softly falling off and on since early morning and any foot tracks would soon be covered. I feel as if I’m standing there, ready to take a slow walk to the other side, with only my footprints showing as I glance back.

I have a birthday coming up in a few days time and for months I’ve been thinking that I should celebrate it in a grand way. Some would say this is a milestone birthday, but really, it’s just a number and doesn’t reflect how I feel. Yet, there are moments when the thought “omg-how did this happen?” washes over me. I suppose I’m coming into the autumn of my life now – actually my favourite time of year. Certainly not early or late autumn – so how long does each season last when you’re talking decades? (haha-grin)

I wonder if I’ll feel differently once I’m on the other side of that bridge? There’s no map for the path ahead, but I am learning to listen, to ask and trust an inner guide that leads the way. And that is enough.

The Map You Make Yourself

You have looked
at so many doors
with longing,
wondering if your life
lay on the other side.

For today,
choose the door
that opens
to the inside.

Travel the most ancient way
of all:
the path that leads you
to the center
of your life.

No map
but the one
you make yourself.

No provision
but what you already carry
and the grace that comes
to those who walk
the pilgrim’s way.

Speak this blessing
as you set out
and watch how
your rhythm slows,
the cadence of the road
drawing you into the pace
that is your own.

Eat when hungry.
Rest when tired.
Listen to your dreaming.
Welcome detours
as doors deeper in.

Pray for protection.
Ask for guidance.
Offer gladness
for the gifts that come,
and then
let them go.

Do not expect
to return
by the same road.
Home is always
by another way,
and you will know it
not by the light
that waits for you

but by the star
that blazes inside you,
telling you
where you are
is holy
and you are welcome
here.

~Jan Richardson

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