Pilgrimage

One day you will have to choose
Between two roads: the broad pleasant one
Flower-scented and trodden by many, and
The narrow winding one bordered by walls
Of stern stone. Both will lead you to
The statue of the Blessed Mother that towers
Over the wide world.

Perhaps you will not have a choice.
The pleasant way is closed to you and therefore
You must walk the narrow road.

But if you may choose I hope you take
The narrow way. For this is the path
Your soul loves, for the steep uphill climb,
And the bare beauty of sere stone
Rendered holy by the histories of towns
That once presided over these cliffs and
The footsteps of pilgrims that long ago
Walked this road.

A word of advice: do not envy
Those who have taken the pleasant way.
This will destroy you.

You will find companions on the journey.
Some will walk beside you and cheer you
When your spirit is low. Others will stand
By the path to proffer a cup of water
Or a cloth to wipe the sweat from your brow.
Here at the roadside you will find me.
I will give you the flame of my candle
So that you will have your own light
When darkness falls .

One day you too shall stand here.
You will offer the broken pieces of your soul
So others may heal.

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