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One big blister, a lost item, and 70 miles later…

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

I’ve arrived home.

Coach Lea standing outside with backpack, adjusting sunglasses
Home sweet home!

That was the intent of my DIY Pilgrimage to begin with—I wanted to walk from home to home. It was to mark the transition of my work life and to honor my body as it ages. What I’ve found instead is that, really, my pilgrimage became about neither of these things all that much. It was more about remembering who I am in this journey of life and how that brings me home to myself and to those closest to me.

I mentioned previously that I got a blister. It is huge and in a very weird spot. And it makes me walk like I have a pebble in my shoe. In fact, it may have been caused by some sand working its way between my sock and my heel. It was uncomfortable but never painful as I walked. Yet, it made itself known. I thought about how consciously trying to stop thinking about it helped, but that was hard. Once I saw it, I constantly thought about the small discomfort! When I finally could forget then I no longer noticed it and I had room for other observations in its place.

Life’s discomforts are sometimes like that. The more we perseverate, the more uncomfortable they become. If we can hold them lightly they feel less burdensome. Which leads me to my lost item. For a few hours all I could think about was how I lost my small velcro pouch. And I was disappointed that I couldn’t place how I lost it and frustrated with myself for not paying better attention to it. I really should have put it in a different place on my backpack (but that’s another story!). I finally let it go, accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to retrieve it, and hoped that whoever found it along the beach needed a small amount of cash, some bandaids and a tube of neosporin. Maybe it will be just the bit of first aid they were hoping for!

Which leads me to my 70-mile, DIY Pilgrimage. In many ways it has been the first aid for my soul that I didn’t know I needed. Being outside for so many hours a day, in nature, in cities, in quiet, and around others, has been a balm for my spirit. Walking on three separate days with people who matter very much to me, was a gift.

I knew I needed something, but I thought it was something else. I thought I needed to mark some transitions in my life. What I really needed was to simply observe and honor my life. My hope is that as I put one foot in front of the other in all the daily walkings and workings of my life, I will continue to remember to honor life. To make peace every step. To work for good. To accept discomfort and loss. And to continue to make my life a journey home.

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