A little over a year ago I started preparing myself for the idea of turning 60 this month. As I am sure many of you can understand, it just did not seem possible. But I began to think of this occasion as an opportunity to reflect on the story of my life. Then the idea of a pilgrimage, or an intentional reflective journey, began to take shape in my mind. I began to think of this journey as an extended time of sabbath, of acknowledging both familial and spiritual roots, giving thanks for important aspects of my past and preparing to enter the “elder” stage of life.
After a long time of consideration, this is the journey that has emerged:
- I will spend two weeks in Ireland with my husband Jim, visiting several ancient holy sites of Celtic Christianity as well as the ancestral lands of family on my father’s side (having visited the Italian lands of my maternal grandparents last time I was in Europe- 37 years ago.)
- Then Jim will return home, and I will travel to the Scottish island of Iona, a sacred site of pilgrimage for many centuries, for a time of retreat, and then see a bit of the Scottish Highlands;
- Finally, I will journey to Paris, to reminisce and re-connect with the language and culture which was so important to me (having majored in French and lived there twice.)
Many thanks to the congregation, to my local pastor colleagues, and to my late parents’ generosity, all of which enable me to take this sacred journey. See you upon my return!