All Life Is Pilgrimage

Karen Robinson

Karen Robinson

   All life is pilgrimage

For the young
who do not yet understand
for whom today is but a slow waiting
   for that something they call tomorrow
for whom yesterday is but the distant dream
   of something they thought would be today
for whom patience is but an abstraction
   gratification being their spirituality
for the young the pilgrimage
is a long down`hill race

For the middle`agers
who pretend to understand
for whom time is always money
   and money always the only solution
for whom the career is a mountain to scale
   until the sport becomes but an obsession
for whom the staff has become family
   while family has become the staff
for middle`agers the pilgrimage
is a rat`race to success

For the old`timers
who have it all figured out
for whom grace is one more sunset
   witnessed from a deck Adirondack chair
for whom mercy is the relentless flowing tide
   purging the filth of the sea against the sand
for whom peace isn’t simple sentimentality
   but forgiveness given and received
for old`timers the pilgrimage
is the slow walk home

   All life is pilgrimage

“The way forward, the way between things,
the way already walked before you,
the path disappearing and re-appearing even
as the ground [gives] way beneath you
the grief apparent only in the moment of forgetting” ~ David Whyte


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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4 Responses to All Life Is Pilgrimage

  1. Cheryl Ruffing says:

    I love this one, Peter. You did a great job of capturing those age-related mindsets. That phrase: “grace is one more sunset” is just lovely. As my kids have taught me over and over, fishing trips are good for us.


    • Thank you, Cheryl. Yes, not doing something for a week makes coming back to it that much more refreshing . . . The monks called it abstinence . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cheryl Ruffing says:

        I suppose they did. I was thinking in slightly different terms. In homeschooling my six kids, I’ve witnessed, over and over, that learning difficulties (especially in reading) generally evaporate once we leave the offending subject for a while (sometimes weeks; sometimes months) and come back to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. boy, do my feet hurt…

    Liked by 1 person

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