The Way

Taking the Journey
with Tracey Rich

A dream for many people is to make a pilgrimage at some time in their lives. You don't have to be headed for a holy site to find the peace or revelation that is right there in putting one foot in front of the other and embarking on a journey. Some people have set the challenge of walking the John Muir Trail, and some long for one of the most classic sojourns, The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way. Setting yourself to the rhythm of daily footfall can be a life changer. The end is not the destination, although there is sometimes a great sense of triumph and freedom at the end of the trail. But the real pilgrimage is everything along the way.

My first backpacking trip was in the Grand Tetons. Four of us, four days, and miles and miles of wilderness. We walked side by side in single pairs as couples, or as friends. Sometimes all four of us would begin our day stretched out across the trail together. But most often, we walked by ourselves, moving at the pace of our own personal relationship to the earth beneath us. Those four days left me dreaming that someday I would love to walk The Camino.

For some, a journey is for the solitude. For others, it is the communion of the fellow travelers and being part of a community with a shared vision. For almost everyone, the journey unfolds as it moves along an interior landscape that deepens our relationship with ourselves, and thereby the world around us.

The beautiful film called, The Way, by Emilio Estevez and starring his father, Martin Sheen, has just been rereleased. If you have not seen it, see it now. If you have already seen the film, see it again. You will be inspired by this journey of the heart and soul.

No matter your personal inspiration for a pilgrimage--be it a journey of grief, a trip to find your faith, a physical feat that turns spiritual, a challenge you set, a curiosity, a dream-- just put one foot in front of the other, and may you find your way.