A reflection on “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho
I often find it incredible how much insight Paulo Coelho can pack into a short novel. His parables poignantly reflect the nature of human journey, which likely contribute to his devoted reader following. I have read almost all of his writing, but surprisingly have saved ‘The Pilgrimage’ as one of my last books. The following excerpt describes one perspective on travel:
‘ When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth. You confront completely new situations, the day passes more slowly, and on most journeys you don’t even understand the language the people speak. So you are like a child just out of the womb. You begin to attach much more importance to the things around you because your survival depends upon them. You begin to be more accesible to others because they may be able to help you in difficult situations. And you accept any small favor from the gods with great delight, as if it were an episode you would remember for the rest of your life. At the same time, since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive. The word peccadillo, which means a “small sin,” comes from pecus,which means “defective foot,” a foot that is incapable of walking a road. The way to correct the peccadillo is always to walk forward, adapting oneself to new situations and receiving in return all of the thousands of blessing’s that life generously offers to those who seek them’
I love to travel because the life experience is so rich and vibrant! Without effort, traveling forces acute awareness of the present. Every moment is an adventure and unique in my memory. Time passes more slowly because I allow myself to be richly aware of my surroundings and let thoughts of past and future fade. I easily become addicted to this feeling and chase each ‘fix’ by traveling frequently and consciously saving to do so. My challenge is achieve this traveler’s ‘high’ in my everyday abundant life- to consciously bring awareness to the present moment as a unique blessing and new event.
Today is November 22, 2011 at 10:26 AM. I will never live this moment again. I am alive, healthy, and blessed beyond my wildest imagination. I am so thankful for today and determined to make the most of my experience. Thank you God for today!