Beware the geographic cure

So much has changed in the last few years. Divisive politics. The strain of loneliness. A pandemic. A devastating wildfire that evacuated me for nearly a week. There’s been joy too — awakening, community, writing. But times like these try our patience and our souls. New wounds callous over and ache for healing.

My work calls me to hold the tension between the future we hope for and the reality we live in. To offer people a bridge between those two places requires emotional labor. It’s taxing. After almost five years, it has finally caught up with me.

I didn’t plan to get divorced in the middle of it either, but here I am, forty-eight years old, single again, fully vaccinated and utterly exhausted.

When the papers got signed, I started packed my bags.

Not long after, a quote I stumbled upon hit me between the eyes: “Beware the geographic cure.” I know that flinging myself to far-off places isn’t a fix for what ails me. Wherever I go, I still take my particular set of bags along, stuffed with foibles, regrets, and unsolved pain. We all do. No matter how long that baggage spins around the carousel, they keep returning.

As I booked flights, a spiritual friend asked me, “Is this a trip you’re planning… or a pilgrimage?”

And I knew. Immediately. A sensation of deep knowing fluttered in my gut. It is the latter. I am once again a pilgrim.

Even though I’ll spend the next three months hopping my way across two continents, the locations are inconsequential. What matters are the souls I’m going to meet in each place. I will make stops to see the people my heart calls home — friends and family who I haven’t hugged in far too long.

  • Portland, Oregon: Nancy and Julia
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana: Marissa, Sally, and Steve
  • Traverse City, Michigan: Kate
  • Danbury and Farmington, Connecticut: Kathy, Jerry, Mark, Amy, Olivia, and Laura; with possible walk ons from Lea and Jen
  • Galway, Ireland: Ger and her family

The one exception is my hope to walk in Ireland solo for about 10 days. Or maybe it’s not an exception. I’d like alone time with my own heart as I learn to be my own best friend.

And I’m taking you, dear reader, along with me including photos, stories, and insights. So if you care to read about what’s out there and what’s in here, watch this space. Your pilgrim friend is back.

Buen camino!