It is in the going out that we discover what is really going on within, both in our inner-heart’s landscape and in our physical home places. The journey away from home brings with it new visions and viewpoints. We return with a posture of wisdom— attuned to and aware of the Spirit all around us.
The intentional space created by a pilgrimage not only leaves indelible marks on our lives, but pushes out new permanent places in our soulscape. So, while home once again, the hearth is not how we left it for we return changed. It will stay in a state of strangeness until we are able to assimilate our lessons and experiences into stories of transformation and actions of justice that are gifts to our communities.
However, the challenge, and bitter truth, of coming home from a pilgrimage is that we soon learn that what is a pearl to us is mere pennies to others, especially if our epiphanies are conveyed as nothing more than novel curios. How then can we even begin to describe the depths to which our soul has traveled? Ultimately, it is our wizened life that must tell the story of our journey; no picture slide show or souvenir will scratch the surface of the truth found within the forest of our sacred journey.
Your invitation is to live into the new wilder edges of your life, inhabiting the unfamiliar spaces created by traveling the trails of your inner-soul. These are the places where dynamic opportunities lay for you to share your wisdom and bring back the boon of your journey. You must create new ways of relating to your home – to those within it and surrounding it, which are imbued with the meaning of your journey.
In Joseph Campbell’s popular book of essays, Myths to Live By, he described something pertinent to our theme of sacred journeys:
“The ultimate air of the quest if one is to return, must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and the power to serve others.”
This parallels the belief of the ancient wisdom teachers that the ultimate answer to the sorrows of the world is the boon of increased self-knowledge.
The great value of a pilgrimage journey is to return with a knowledge of self that will enable one to engage the world’s needs in an authentic and passionate way. We return with wisdom gained. It is now time to stoke the hearth's fire and gather around for while the darkening landscape is turning to chill, bones will be warmed by the broth of your wisdom and the beautiful gifts of your quest.