about Joseph –
Joseph is a writer and activist from Uganda, currently living in the UK supporting friends within the refugee community.
I think of Joseph as a supporter of whoever comes across Joseph’s path; a lover of nature and a peacemaker (and far too humble to say any of these things!)
This piece of writing is about the Roots into Reverence pilgrimage I was involved in see the May and June journal post for some more and to link to the RiR homepage.
To get in touch with Joseph you can send me a message.
I am ever so grateful for having listened to my instinct and followed my heart in accepting to go to the Roots intoReverence Pilgrimage in Firle.
The gift of the land is in the way the land offers itself to us. No arguments, no resistance, no restraints or bridles, just an open-ended and endless “yes” conversation that the land has with us. We only have to open ourselves to listening.
We walk the land. We cultivate and farm the land. We construct on the land. We bury in the land. We do a lot to-with-in and on the land that we dull our senses to what the land is for (and to) us. We have to find within ourselves, not only our recognition of the gifts of our roots but also revere them ever more.
I was blessed to join a pilgrimage that crystallised the land as one with us and also within us. The amazing terrain of the south downs was new in my eyes and I was eager to explore the offering with a day to reconnect to what I do take as a given, of being on this planet I love.
Before we started our walk we enveloped ourselves in a meditation that paved discernment. We started our walk from the church at West Firle to a country road and then a country track and then a country path and then still a farm alley and then a gradual ascendent hill. The hill top opened up to the horizon of fields far and wide. I am still pleasantly surprised with the magnificent beauty that unfolded in several directions. The land was surely opening itself up to me and I hope to all my fellow pilgrims alike. What ensued for me was a breathtaking experience. I was like a child eager to take in, what it instinctively has always known to be true. I kept marvelling at the explosion of life in every step of moment to moment awareness and pockets of unrivalled grace.
I felt like I was being lifted to a readiness that was an invitation to absorb, to assimilate, to activate, and to inherently transform on a cellular level what my heart always yearns for. There is a reverence that comes with being open to what is always there in a sense that goes beyond any simplistic interpretations that I may have had. We were afforded silent intervals and its in these that I did encourage my mind to take the journey without distance to my heart. To snap out of the illusory occupation of the mind. To fully appreciate the blessing of simply being here now.
To appreciate the contact of my bare feet with the earth from the speckles of dust as a took each step; from the small sharp stones that made my entire body alive to their rhythmic pinch; from the more gentle stones that caressed me back into a balanced tease; fromthe long and short grass that gently whispered by a touch to me; from varied tree branches and leaves that swayed and hustled to the beats of the gentle winds; from the land deeps, troughs and subdued rises that soothed me; from the orchestra of skylark and other harmonies of birds and other creatures that I only captured when my presence elevated.
There was a subconscious mythical ebb and flow that set the tone and punctuated the pilgrimage with few words to say and more integrative contemplation to make.
When I was speaking to my friends about the pilgrimage, they came to the conclusion that the organisers of Roots into Relevance could hang the moon on its orbit for being able to come up with such a nurturing way to remind us of what it really means to reconnect with the land. To commune in a celebration of the land.
There are questions that are better left unanswered so we may not forget. Only this, the invitation to take with me, the lush and rich essence of the epitome we all embody with short breaks to ponder in awe, this precious gift that keeps giving without provisos.
“I felt like I was being lifted to a readiness that was an invitation to absorb, to assimilate, to activate, and to inherently transform on a cellular level what my heart always yearns for.”