This purple finch arrived just as the red buds of the crab apple tree were appearing. It was such a cheery sight. I will miss all the critters, some of whom have kept me entertained all winter...some newly arrived back. Each holds a special meaning for me.
I hope I don't miss my lilacs. It is one of my great pleasures to bury my nose in a big bunch. There is always a gentle tug on the heart strings whenever I depart on a journey. This year the tug seems a bit more than usual. I wonder what that might mean?
This little red squirrel is a daily visitor and he has to compete with Gaylord for seeds. He actually does pretty well on that score! Spring is in the air and all the creatures show a new found enthusiasm for life. This enthusiasm mirrors mine. This journey was long in coming but now it is here and I want to pay careful attention to the embarking...the setting off. It is often an overlooked part of a pilgrimage.
Imagine your departure as a metamorphosis...the first step is to slow down. The next one is to treat everything that comes your way as part of the sacred time that envelopes your pilgrimage.
The Art of Pilgrimage - Phil Cousineau
That is the nature of pilgrimage. The time in between these two crossings will be transformative in many ways. Which ways exactly, well, that is a story that is yet to be written.
A pilgrim travels differently. Always in a pilgrimage,
there is a change of mind and a change of heart.
- John O'Donohue