“When you change but you do not journey, you are a chameleon
When you journey but you do not change, you are a nomad
When you change while you journey, you are a pilgrim.”
This profound quote from Mark Nepo’s book “Holding Nothing Back” is particularly relevant as November sways into our lives to tell us to become a true pilgrim by embracing the change just like water, wind and sun weathers the rock.
I remember a conversation with a childhood friend with whom I had lost contact over the years and when we connected over Facebook, she said “Wow, I almost didn’t recognize you from the kid I used to know.” She was right and she was wrong. I had changed but that kid was also still there inside me.
We often mistake change as giving up the past and moving on. It isn’t so. Change is integrating the past while providing the mindset and the environment for the new to inhabit.
A true pilgrim will
- travel light like a nomad
- adapt to his environment like a chameleon
- stay alert to the lessons along the way
- be open to the arrival of new clan members
- remember that no act of kindness is ever forgotten and
- understand that though the body atrophies, age brings a different richness to our mental and emotional state.
The pilgrim knows that resistance is futile.