Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

the way is made by walking

Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the way is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind
one sees the path
that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road–
Only wakes upon the sea.

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.

-Antonio Machado, “Proverbios y cantares XXIX” in Campos de Castilla

I had a dream last week:

I am on an island with a friend (I don’t recognize who it is in the dream, but she feels familiar, intimate). The island looks like one of the San Juans or Gulfs, thickly forested and misty. There are two parts to the island, one has a network of trails covering it, the other is just wilderness. My friend wants to take the trails and I insist we explore the other trail-less part of the island.

There are some deep shifts happening in me right now, longings that can no longer go ignored.  I awoke from this dream and smiled because it captured so well this place I find myself right now, standing at the edge of the pathless Way.  I’ve spent years exploring the established trails and the contours of those paths will help guide me now into the wilderness where I must make my own way simply by walking ahead and listening for where the invitation lies. 

What is the way that is calling you forward?  Where are you being invited off of the established trails of your life to seek the gifts of wild places wholly your own?

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

(photo taken at Mt Rainier National Park this past summer)

You might also enjoy

New Monk in the World Self-Study Retreat!

We are pleased to announce the release of our revised and expanded Monk in the World retreat! The retreat is an 8 week self-study that explores the principles of The Monk Manifesto. The new version includes: Registration is offered on a sliding scale and all

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Naimi Gonzalez

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Naimi Gonzalez’s reflection learning to be present through lectio divina. I am in the beginning stages of learning to be more contemplative

Read More »

13 Responses

  1. Interesting dream. I have a general idea what direction I am supposed to be heading, full on intfinite possibilities. However, life being life, I am just trying to stay in the moment, be grateful for it, and not fear the future/change. Awesome that you are open to the invitation of a new direction. Honesty. Openmindedness. Willingness. Very cool.

    Love the pic, too.

  2. Thanks Cathleen, blessings on your participation in that program, I know it will be sheer gift.

    Thanks yolanda!

    Suz, I think what I like about Papa is its unexpectedness. I like words for God that catch me by surprise a little. I love that my readers inspire each other here too. :-)