Which is the greatest reward: greeting each new day at first light with incredible gratitude and a sense of wonder; or seeing tangible evidence that you are getting your ‘tread lightly’ message out into the world and perhaps even changing lives?
And which is the more daunting challenge: commiting to walking 40,075km and knowing it could take up to 10 years; or watching meagre funds dwindle alarmingly while coming to terms with the idea that my quest might not be financially sustainable in its current format?
In the beginning I worried about my body holding out and now my focus is on my money running out, which somehow seems so irrelevant and trivial in the face of such an important quest. I know that if I walk in total faith all my needs will be provided for. And yet still I worry!
Often I recall Peace Pilgrim’s words: “I don’t eat junk food and I don’t think junk thoughts.” I wish my mind was as disciplined.
But for every doubt and anxiety there is the joy of treading new paths fearlessly, knowing in my heart that this is what I was called to do. There is simply no alternative. This is a way in which I can be the change I wish to see in the world and make a difference, one step at a time.
By my actions I can show my daughters Bonnie and Tammy how much I love them and the world that they and their children’s children will inherit.
Already I feel I’m not the same person that started this pilgrimage on Iona on July 7 and each day brings messages that inspire and uplift me.
My dear friend and partner of many years, Adelle Horler, lit a candle and said a prayer for me in Salisbury Cathedral. Can you imagine how much that means?
Recognising how tough it is sometimes, journalist and kindred spirit Shona Bagley offers this encouragement: “Rest assured that whatever path you take, you have the support of your followers and friends. There is no pressure but the pressure that you apply to yourself.”
And Cape Town-based healer Nan Hamilton raises a smile with her email. “The idea of you rolling out a bivvy bag under the starry or wet heavens fills me with awe. Much love and strength to you sweet man; and I hope you express the despair too.
“You can’t just hold the light up, you know. You need to rage like a tiger and howl like a wolf – pour the dark nights into your writing so that it has the ebb and flow of your real life – so that it does not stay locked up in your body. This reflects what the Earth is going through too in this mad final season of greed and chaos. I love you madly mad man and friend to the Earth!”
Pippa Cobb Hankinson quotes Paulo Coelho: “The moment he begins to walk along it, the warrior of light recognises the path. Each stone, each bend cries Welcome to him. He identifies with the mountains and the streams. He sees something of his own soul in the plants and the animals and the birds of the field. Then, accepting the help of God and God’s signs, he allows his personal legend to guide him towards the tasks that Life has reserved for him.”
We are all in this together and must co-create the best possible future for all beings.