Home again – but not the same.
There are always strong emotions on any return from adventures away. More so when you feel those adventures have shaped and changed you, and none quite like the emotions felt when parting at the end of a Pilgrimage to Uluru. We were glad to be home – to see our loved ones again, to sleep in our own beds, to feel truly clean and rested for the first time in a week and a half and have regular access to flushing toilets… But even the gladness of the return couldn’t quite mask the multitude of other emotions felt as we said goodbye.
Sorrow to be parting with a group of people who have become our family, people we’ve been real with who’ve seen the true heart of who we are and valued and respected that person. People who know us and love us and have shared incredible things with us.
Fear and anticipation – will people understand the profound impact this journey has had on me? The way it has shaped and changed me? Built my understanding of myself and shifted my perspective? Changed the way I see and love my Aboriginal brothers and sisters? Will I be able to stay true to the promises I’ve made myself?
Hope and excitement as we return home changed; all that we’ve seen and learnt and felt is real and we can’t wait to share it with our friends and family. We can’t wait to put it into practice and see how our lives and the lives of those around us will be impacted!
A pilgrimage is a journey of internal significance – our pilgrims return home, but they’re no longer the same. The pilgrimage doesn’t end with getting off the bus, it starts there. We’ve learnt about the past, we’ve delved into the truths of our history and the hearts of ourselves – now it’s time to change our future with all that we now know.
Ask our pilgrims what this trip has meant to them and don’t be surprised if you notice something changed, different, new! Encourage them and find out what changes they’re hoping to implement so you can be part of that change as you’re part of supporting them. Ask them what they need from you to be able to stay true to the things that they’ve promised themselves!
You too can be part of a future changed and made new. The journey isn’t over… it’s only just beginning.