Pilgrimage has three step: leaving, encountering, and returning. It seems logical really. Every trip is like that, but maybe a 25 day pilgimage heightens the awareness of the steps.
Pligrimage begins as you leave home. We are leaving a lot behind. Between the two of us we are carrying 36 lbs. A lot of choices needed to be made to get our backpacks down to a weight that would not be too onerous. We need to carry everything we need. So that is one kind of leaving.
I cut the grass today and got a bunch of small jobs done around the yard. As I did those things, I noticed all the things I was leaving behind that I would miss. The liliac bush is going to be beautiful, we’ll miss it. Our tulips are just starting to flower, and the the triliums in the bush are just on the cusp of coming out.
We will miss our church community as well. Certainly, we will build a new community on the pilgrimage, but, in the next month lots of things will happen in our church and we are missing all of them.
Family things will be missed as well. My father broke his hip on Saturday, his oldest son should likely be around to help out, but, he won’t be. These responsibilities too will be left behind, missed.
Leaving so that something new can be encountered. It reminds me a little bit of Abraham following God’s command to leave the place he was in and go to a country that God would show him. Abraham, of course, left a lot that he would never see again, we’ll be back in 25 days.