the pilgrimage begins


What I might need for 2.5 months of life is packed in these bags. I have never left New York City for this long, never had the luxury of a vacation or sabbatical that lasted almost a quarter of a year. And though this is neither vacation or a sabbatical, today I began a unique journey, a pilgrimage, that has me feeling somewhere between excited and anxious.

A few days ago I was reminded of the popular Lao-Tzu line, ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ Google it and inspirational memes abound. I was happy to find a slightly different translation, closer to the original Chinese, that seems to resonate with my particular pilgrimage: “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet.” I like that the focus of this second translation isn’t the act of stepping so much as awareness of what is already beneath us or within us. The first step of any journey is actually remembering where you have come from, where you are now, who are are, whose you are. And from that grounding, from that rootedness, action will flow.

‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’
— Lao-Tzu

I have sensed a quiet call to walk in a new direction for some time. The seeds of freelance/interim/transitional leadership work have grown slowly within me. The call has been nourished and warmed by nothing less than Love, flowing from God and embodied by family, friends, colleagues, congregants, lovers and strangers. But today is the day that the seed breaks through the soil and becomes visible. Today is the day that the call moves from my mind and imagination to my feet.

And so, it begins…