Pilgrimpace's Blog

three stones
January 5, 2013, 5:51 pm
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When I sit to pray in my study, I face this fireplace:


On the mantelpiece are three stones:



These are from the three walking pilgrimages I am part-way through: Winchester to Canterbury; home to Worcester via Evesham; home to Chester and Holywell.

I like to pick up a suitable stone near the beginning of a pilgrimage and carry it on my pocket to the end.  It is a small, personal ritual which adds to the physicality of pilgrim prayer.

I should finish all three in the coming year, although I find something satisfying in the incompleteness and mess of the present.  I like the invitation which the stones give me to keep going, to remember where I have got to and how far there is to go.

As well as the walking, there is the pilgrimage of mind and soul, with hopefully the chance to travel further and deeper with this.

I wrote a list of all my walking last year – which I won’t inflict on you here – except to note that I walked a bit over 500 miles.  Not as much as I wanted, but a broken toe and the wettest year on record in England took their toll.

May I wish you all a good journey into the year ahead.  I’m looking forward to it.



4 Comments so far
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An interesting post, Andy. When I took my Wainwright Coast To Coast Walk a couple of years ago, I picked up a stone on the Irish Sea coast at St. Bees and carried it with me to Robin Hoods Bay, where I left it in the North Sea. It was a strangely meaningful experience, somewhat like adding a stone to a cairn to commemorate passing through a particular place.

Comment by George

thanks George. Yes, it seems to me that there is something profoundly important about the carrying and leaving of stones. Much more to reflect on, I think!

Comment by pilgrimpace

I really appreciate the ritual of rock-carrying! If I have your permission, I would like to share this with my pilgrimage participants to Iona this spring. Thank you!

Comment by waymarkers

Please do! (I suspect I am very far from original in this)


Comment by pilgrimpace

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