Continued from Part 1
As I continued to prepare for my pilgrimage, I was very mindful of these these stages: preparation; anticipation; participation and recollection.
In the last couple of weeks leading up to my departure date - I continued to "prepare" by going on training walks and carrying my backpack with about 10 lbs of weight in it. And I put together a packing check list and started to pull what I thought I would need on the walk together.
|I prepare by going on training walks and carrying some weight|
I also put my "creativity" project mosaic supplies together. I very soon realized that the materials were heavy - and that I should not carry the materials for 12 arrows with me (one arrow for each day of the walk). So I packed up enough to create 5 arrows - and arranged for a friend to meet me along the way with the rest.
I spent the final day before starting my walk, carefully packing and re-packing. Considering each item that I was taking and focusing on packing light.
|I pack my "creativity" project mosaic supplies to bring with me.|
Finally - it was the starting day of my walk. It was a thrill to be dropped off at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa - and to meet my fellow walkers. It was also special to be accompanied at the start of the walk by my friend Jo-Anne, the founder of the Chemin des Outaouais (Rodolphe Latreille) and other walkers.
I quickly realized that I needed to "let go" of some of the things that I had with me. And planned to do so when Jo-Anne left me along the way. I was also challenged - when we had a sudden rain storm hit. There was just enough time to put on my raingear and cover my backpack - in a lovely setting. I was sure experiencing a lot in very short order on day one!
|I meet my fellow pilgrims in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa.|
I suggested to the group that I was walking with - that they go on ahead - and that I would meet them at our accommodation in Orleans. It was finally time to say goodbye to my friend Jo-Anne. I gave her a pile of things to take home with her - including my walking stick. And then sat quietly on a large stone eating my lunch and considering the path that lay ahead.
|Our first challenge - we had a sudden rain storm hit - on the first day of the walk.|
After the rain storm it was very hot - and I started walking - putting one foot in front of the other. I used my mantra - be strong, I can do this - as I walked along. I soon realized that I did not have enough water with me - and approached a woman sitting out on her porch - to see if she could fill my water bottle. Her husband came to the door with two chilled bottles of water! I was very thankful for this special gift.
|I sat quietly on a large stone, eating my lunch and considering the path that lay ahead.|
I continued on step by step and eventually reached my destination - Presbytère de la Paroisse Saint-Joseph d'Orleans. My walking colleagues had settled in - and were out. I left them a note and headed directly to the YWCA to make full use of the facilities. I had a wonderful spa experience and made use of the hot tub; cold pool and sauna and shower.
|Taking a rest stop on the path.|
And I take time to reflect on a day of being a pedestrian moving slowly in our
fast-paced car-based society.
To be continued...
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