Every year I choose a word to guide me on my way. Last January I chose Pilgrimage and set out to undertake “a long journey especially one undertaken as a quest, or for a votive purpose, to pay homage.”
As an agnostic, sitting on the fence as to what it’s all about, I am still drawn to the idea of devotion. To what? I’m not sure I can describe it in words…..a grounding and reverence for nature, for people, for beauty? If I would pay homage to anything at all then that’s what it might be….
In July I was 60 and it felt like a turning point. If I live until I am 90 then this is the beginning of the third age, the last part of my life. I am the older generation in my family, both parents are gone now. My Mother died at only 33, so I am probably also paying homage to the opportunity to simply be alive at all! The Pilgrimage was a way to celebrate the freedom of still being here on this planet and in one piece….
These wanderings have taken me to Italy, Greece, Austria, the Wild Atlantic Way, with next stop Sweden. In between I have been sitting very still and absorbing it all. A bit cut off socially, working hard in my day job and also developing new projects as part of my photography passion, I have spent a lot of time in the company of birds.
Birds tend to flit and twitch nervously but sometimes they seem to just meditate. I imagine them sitting for portraits, “Just turn your head a little to the left……” I say, and they sometimes listen in a moment of pause…
Since moving my workspace even closer to them, I know their characters, their songs, and these moments of stillness we share in the closing months of this Pilgrimage route.
And then as is their nature, they simply take flight….
I loved this further reading too on How to be alone from Brain Pickings