Are you daft?
When I answered the phone at five o’clock in the morning the voice on the other end of the line asked if he got me out of bed. “No,” I said, I’ve been up about fifteen minutes. And then the young man began to apologize profusely in a lovely Irish brogue. He was calling to confirm my booking for our first two nights in Dublin. Then he asked if I needed any further booking in Ireland. I told him not at the moment.
“Kind of short trip, eh?”
“I’m walking coast to coast, from Dublin to Kerry,” I said.
“Are you daft?” he laughed and then apologized, telling him he was bicycling the Ring of Kerry the weekend we arrive. “May I ask you why you would do such a thing?”
“It’s a spiritual thing, I guess. Just something I feel I have to do,” I said.
He said, “I wish you the best and I honestly hope to meet you.”
Beginning July 12, 2012 I will be walking over 360 miles, starting out of Dublin on the Wicklow Way and then east along four other historic paths. It will take me twenty-seven days including taking Sundays to rest.
For me, the pilgrimage is indeed a spiritual journey. Not to find God, but to be with God. Walking six to ten hours a day through the Isle of the forty shades of green, I am anticipating an experience, a presence of the seen and the unseen, and a connection of the conscious to the unconscious. I have no idea what I will encounter. My past experience has convinced me, though, that I will have the knowledge something fresh in my soul, in my spirit, in the place where the mystical is breathed in like the smoke of an ancient pipe.
A holy woman told me last week I was at a “Y” in the road of my life’s journey. She said I would not know which road I would take until I faced the choice on my pilgrimage. I pray I will recognize the moment, and hear what the Spirit is saying.
The Rev. Julie O’Brien gave me a small journal for the trip. I have asked whoever would like to write their name in the journal. And I have committed to praying for each individual on the journey. When I feel it is the right moment, I will pray for each person by name and I will write in the journal the location I prayed for him or her. I am carrying many of you with me on the pilgrimage of life.
Here is my intended path. I will try stay connect via Facebook and my blog. Blessings and slainte!
Wicklow Way 86 miles/7 days (one day off)
7.12 Dublin to Glencree 13 miles
7.13 Glencree to Roundwood 16 miles
7.14 Roundwood to Glendalough 10 miles
7.15 Sunday off in Glendalough
7.16 Glendalough to Glenmalure 10 miles
7.17 Glenmalure to Tinahely 22 miles
7.18 Tinahely to Shillelagh 15 miles
7.19 Shillelagh to Clonegal 11 miles
South Leinster Way 63 miles/4 days (one day off)
7.20 Clonegal to Borris 15 miles
7.21 Borris to Inistioge 17 miles
7.22 Sunday off in Inistioge
7.23 Inistioge to Mullinavat 18 miles
7.24 Mullinavat to Carrick on Suir 13 miles
East Munster Way 43 miles/3 days
7.25 Currick on Suir to Clonmel 18 miles
7.26 Clonmel to Newcastle 11 miles
7.27 Newcastle to Clogheen 14 miles
Blackwater Way – Avondhu 47 miles/4 days (one day off)
7.28 Clogheen to Araglin 13 miles
7.29 Sunday off
7.30 Araglin to Fermoy 17 miles
7.31 Fermoy to Killavullan 16 miles
8.1 Killavullan to Bweeng Cross 20 miles (staying in Mallow)
Blackwater Way – Duhallow 43 miles/3 days
8.2 Bweeng to Mushera car park 18 miles (stay in Millstreet)
8.3 Millstreet to Shrone 14 miles
8.4 Shrone to Muckcross 12.5 miles
8.5 Sunday off
The Kerry Way 67 miles/4 days
8.6 Muckcross to Black Valley 12.5 miles
8.7 Black Valley to Glenbeigh 22 miles
8.8 Glenbeigh to Cohersiveen 17.5 miles
8.9 Cohersiveen to Portmagee 15.5 miles
8.9 – 8.16 Kildysart with Father Mike O’Grady
8.16 – 8.20 Dublin