How do you hold a wave upon the sand?
Psalm 137 How shall we sing the Lord's song upon an alien soil?
For two weeks now I have been wondering how to tell the story of our pilgrimage to Ireland, to Glendalough the site of St. Kevin's Holy City built sometime in the 6th century and then across Ireland out to Inis Mor the largest of the Aran Islands where not only were there holy men and women building monastic sites in the 6th century but men and women were building forts as far back as 1500 BC.
In preparation for pilgrimage, pilgrims are advised to pray for a question for which their pilgrimage is a search for the answer. 25 years ago when I participated in this same pilgrimage, my question was "How shall I sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?" My life for the last 25 years has clearly shown me the answer! (That's a story for another time.) But this morning as I wondered how I could begin to tell story of this pilgrimage, the line from Sound of Music popped in my head. I am sure you remember the scene. The beautiful energetic novice Maria is driving the sisters in the abbey bonkers because of...well you know. Remember this wonderful piece?
It occured to me this morning that trying to tell the story of pilgrimage is like trying to hold a wave upon the sand! I have tried three times now, and there are just no words to tell the story completely. In conversation with the other four pilgrims, their experiences have been the same. I hope we will be able to tell the story in bits and pieces as we go forward so that each of you will experience some of what we did and so that more and more those we tell will experience pilgrimage in daily living.
As we prayed everytime we gathered before the pilgrimage and during it:
To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.
This day may your journey be transforming, and may you encounter the Divine in extraordinary ways.
Stay tuned for more about Pilgrims' Journeys!