Defining Pilgrimage: A Poem

Camino to Santiago leading to Samsol, Spain ©Timothy Charles Geoffrion. Do not copy without permission.

What is pilgrimage?

Entering the flow of sacred history.
Traveling to the ends of the earth.
Visiting the depths of your worst self.
Seeking inspiration.
Shunning limitations.
Clinging to hope.
Releasing cherished illusions.
Experiencing fear’s torments.
Being misunderstood.
Welcoming grace.
Exhausting your resources.
Leaving. Arriving. Leaving. Arriving.
Receiving undeserved help.
Seeing while being seen.
Moving, always moving.
Extending kindness.
Getting lost.
Being found.
Orienting your heart.

What isn’t pilgrimage?
Staying stuck.

©Jill K H Geoffrion
Please do not copy any part of this poem without written permission.

Genesis 12: 1 & 4  (NRSV)

Now God said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”


Create a definition of pilgrimage that expresses the core of your understandings of it.
Having done this, express what pilgrimage isn’t.