Summer travel season is here–my favorite time of the year! My Ireland- bound friend, Carol, sent me the poem below–a sendoff for sojourners– as I pack for Spain and Morocco.
Travel Lovers are everywhere. A couple of nights ago in a cooking class taught by Chef Paulette, I met a group of ladies who have grown close on her culinary tours of Italy. As we braided bread in her kitchen, we bonded over a common thread: travel. We were transported to Italy again by four pasta dishes and tales of soul food…the beauty, adventure, and relationship… travel has given us. In Chef Paulette’s classes you can create delicious dishes, meet kindred travel spirits, and enjoy Italy at home.
Another way to savor travel experiences at home is in a course I’m teaching in July at The Porch, Nashville’s Independent Writing Center. Travel Tales: Writing Our Journeys Near and Far is for anyone wanting to join a community of explorers with various writing goals. Whether you’re a blogger or journalist seeking ways to hone your craft of transporting readers through story, someone simply seeking to create a personal souvenir of a special time and place, or a writer ready to excavate treasures on excursions in your own backyard, this course is for you.
Please join me in July! And for now, here’s some Italian inspiration and a travel blessing…
Whether coming or going, enjoy the journey–what you experience while away and what you do with it when you return…
For the Traveler
–by John O’Donohue (Dec 05, 2016)
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.