Could it be too hot in Ireland? Evidently. Especially for walking 17 miles. While today was great tour bus and picture taking weather, I think a bit of Ireland's beauty and mystique were obscured by the sun.
We began the day by poising for a picture at the official halfway marker of the Wicklow Way. Each morning we pray for Father sky to be gentle with us as we make our journey through the Wicklow Mountains. The cloudless sky and 70 plus degree heat and high humidity was almost too much. Making three elevation ascent and descents of 1300 feet each didn't help much either. But our group persevered.
The unpredictable weather and the constantly changing terrain are parts of the challenges of the Wicklow Way. This is my third walk across these mountains and this is the first time I have experienced five days of walking without any precipitation. Indeed, I had told our group to anticipate wet and windy weather. So far, they only been wet from their own perspiration while they have given thanks for every simple breeze.
Every pilgrimage is unique. I have walked these roads before, but the "path of pilgrimage" is much different. The trail has changed in some places. The weather has been a surprise. I am not traveling alone. Each day brings new challenges and something important for me to learn. Pilgrimage is a living alchemy for the soul. We risk putting what is valuable to us in the pilgrimage's vessel of transformation. Then the vessel is heated by the walk. On hope is the weight of our burden's are metaphorically burned away by the heat, while at the same time, something new emerges. I am experiencing this process once again. But we are not finished.