Meeting myself again for the first time

Something is up.  I’m not sure what, but something is up. I just get the feeling.

Maybe it’s Jesus’ wisdom “To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48)

I love my work right now; it is a gift. Yet, the question rises: what might be shifting?

I love my husband of 33 years. He is a gift. Is my marriage changing,too?

I love our children and new granddaughter.  They are gifts. How can I love them better?

Interestingly, this trip is a gift that my work and calling have given me.  It is an adventure in the art of pilgrimage, of traveling with the hope of being transformed by the journey and the intention to open my soul through experience and geography. Several months ago, I found this blessing by the late John O’Donahue:

For the Traveler

Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.

~ John O’Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

Through the thoughtful gift of a friend, I have this blessing beautifully printed on a card to take with me.

This blessing makes me think of Lot’s wife who could not find within herself the grace and strength to leave the life she knew for a new one in the mountains.

It also makes me think of some of my favorite definitions:

Obedience: progressive liberation from all that is not God’s love.

Discipline: remembering what you really want

Retreat: not escaping from my life, but simply escaping from all the usual ways I avoid my real life

Will I be willing to leave home? To leave the “me” I know and let the place where I am going introduce me to the woman I am becoming?

Jesus said: 32 Remember Lot’s wife!33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. Luke 17

Am I willing to lose my life to save it?

Today as I “walked” through our itinerary  via the internet, I felt like crying. For joy and excitement and vulnerability and, yes, a little fear. I have encountered these moist and green places along the way before… St. Hildegard calls them Viriditas.  I always like who I become… the process of such becoming however is sometimes not so much fun… maybe this time will be different.

Something is up.  I’m not sure what, but something is up. I just get the feeling.


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