Sunday, June 29, 2014

Roundwood to Glendalough, Day 3 of the Wicklow Way

Each morning our group gathers for a prayer before we leave. The litany breathes our prayers to the Eternal. We pray for Mother Earth to guide us through the four directions and we pray for Father Sky to be gentle with us. Our prayers find root within us and we share the blessings of a good walk through brilliant weather. We pray for others, that they may experience gentleness on their own pilgrimage.

We also know others pray for us, our families and our community. Our pilgrim group has been blessed in prayers from our friend Rob, who has posted his prayers for us each day on Facebook. Thank you Rob. To see your prayer and encouragement each morning is spiritually empowering. The words are as if the Divine is speaking them into our bodies and souls. Prayer is powerfully carried and passed like a loving embrace. The imprint of our prayers rests gently on the hearts of those for whom we pray.

Our walk from Roundwood to Glendalough was 10 miles over rolling hills and through the beautiful ancient forests of pine and cypress. From the peaks we could see the miles of pastured fields where sheep and cattle nestled. Across a field where a black and roan horse were munching on the luscious grass, two dear stood near them just long enough to get a picture.

The payoff for today's hike was standing on the eastern ridge above Saint Kevin's monastery and the two lakes of Glendalough. The view can only be seen on the walk from the particular path we were on. I have seen the monastery from other vantage points and in my opinion, none are as spectacular. To see the monastery's high tower and the two dark lakes from the same perspective of pilgrims for the past 1500 years connected me with those fellow spiritual travelers. Foot to earth, burden of sweat dripping to soil, pounding of heart in rhythm with others, seeking the spirit of the divine, all shared with thousands who have walked this way—the Way of Pilgrimage.

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