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Just who's on this journey anyway?

"The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too. "
- Saint Teresa of Avila

I came across this quote recently while contemplating my travels and my mind filled with images:

...lying in a grassy park in Burano with leaves rustling in the trees and waves shushing nearby
...the joy of unexpected early morning birdsong in Florence
...the soul-deep reverence I felt in St. Francis' crypt
...the grace and glory of Duccio's Maesta
...the radiant swirl of Titian's Assumption of the Virgin
...gazing upon Michelangelo's David...sigh
...attending a worship service in England
...swaying with the vaporetto over the choppy lagoon waters
...lying back on the steps looking up at Santa Maria Della Salute and the sky
...walking around Venice under dark and moody clouds
...the sound and smell of the sea in Marina Grande
...standing alone, all alone, in the middle of Stonehenge just after sunrise
...walking the labyrinth at Norwich Cathedral with my daughters
...standing outside San Miniato listening to a woman inside singing Ave Maria for a wedding

But the feeling doesn't just come with travelling, of course. So many of the special memories I've accumulated over the years are of those times when my heart leapt with joy over something unexpected, something simple, something that touched my soul and allowed me for a moment to touch the pulse of nature, to feel timeless and connected with the Spirit.

Somehow, I don't think holiday journeys are quite what Teresa had in mind, but her words still struck a chord for whatever reason.

But I won't descend (ascend?) into a deep spiritual contemplation - for the moment, all I wanted to do was relive some meaningful travel moments as I work on my trip report. Speaking of reports, I did manage to send in my two apartment rental reviews a while ago, and just today submitted a review for the Hotel Verdi in Pisa. The actual trip report will follow one of these days...or months. I've actually found it harder to pull together because of having written a blog as I went along - as in now I have to go through both a blog and my own travel journal. I think I'll abandon that effort and just write from my journal, then just scan the blog afterward to see if I missed anything.

Oh, for anyone who noticed that I changed the name of my "everyday" category, I finally settled on a meaningful phrase. Meaningful to me anyway as it's something I say all the time, almost literally everytime we go out the door. I have suspicion the girls find it quite tiresome, but they tell me they love me anyway. (It's the first line of T.S. Eliot's "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock". I first encountered Eliot's poetry in high school and that line has stuck with me ever since.)

Comments (2)

Very interesting - I like it. I'm always looking to see what others have named their personal category. Good on you - good choice.

I love this post! I know exactly the feeling you are talking about and have experienced it at some of the same places. I was surprised at how moving St. Francis' crypt was. And Stonehenge too, even though it was closed when I went and I was looking at it through a fence (still got chills).

Another place for me was the Pantheon. I wandered in while Mass was going on, and it was so moving and beautiful.

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