The Wayfaring Life

It may have been the author Ernest Hemingway who coined the phrase “a moveable feast” for the title of his memoir but it can also apply to what I am calling “the wayfaring life,” or the journey on which Linda and I have been since selling our house and furnishings almost five years ago. To quote the German architect, Rohde-Liebenau, “Just as we ourselves have become mobile, we must have movable possessions.”

Since that fateful day a neighbor’s tree landed on the roof of our beloved cottage, home has become more a state of being than a fixed address for us. And our journey has been as much a spiritual and philosophical one as a physical and structural one. As writer Tom Robbins is quoted as saying, “Any half-awake materialist well knows that which you hold holds you.”

To bring readers up to date on our continually evolving journey, an opportunity too-good-to-pass-up has befallen us in the form of an invitation from a relative to lease a charming cottage [including furniture and utilities] for the winter on the coast of Maine. While we had entertained notions of settling here in Middle Tennessee for the foreseeable future, the prospect of needing to procure more furnishings as a result weighed on us, and so the journey continues!

During our monastic retreat this summer I came upon some insightful thoughts in a library book titled Wayfaring: A Gospel Journey in Everyday Life by Margaret Silf. As she writes, “Ways are made very simply. We don’t have to accomplish some feat of heavy engineering. All we have to do is put one foot in front of the other, and walk them...It is an invitation to become a wayfarer, who, simply by walking the way alongside the One who is the Way, and in loving relationship with fellow wayfarers, will also become a waymaker for others.”

And lest the author’s intentions be misinterpreted, she reminds readers, “This is a pilgrimage journey, not a tourist outing. It is a journey that changes the traveler, a process that shapes the soul in ways we cannot predict. In my diary I have a slip of paper with the following text: ‘The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made, and the making of those pathways changes both the maker and the destination.’” For those wondering how we merry wayfarers are faring, all I can say is that we are enjoying the moveable feast.