Walking Borders Abbeys Way

When thinking of walking pilgrimages, the Camino de Santiago often comes to mind. But there are so many other places that offer pilgrims a place and time set apart to encounter the divine. The Borders Abbeys Way (BAW), located in the Borders of Scotland, is perfect for those who love temperate hiking, relish encountering locals, and for those who can sit amongst an abbey ruin and feel the resonance of the holy.

The BAW is a seventy-mile circle that includes four 12th Century abbeys. Each day includes hiking in and out of towns, and trekking across every terrain Scotland has to offer, such as sheep pastures, gorgeous rivers, farms, and even private driveways. But none of this can fully describe what will happen to your soul as you hike. This ancient pilgrimage path holds the spirit of many merry Scots and it seems sometimes as if God is a bit of a trickster on this journey and delights in surprising each pilgrim with a new way to encounter the holy.

Following in the footsteps of my mother who took bird watchers all over the world, after fourteen years as an Episcopal priest God has shown me a similar path but with pilgrims instead of birders. Stepping out of place and time for the purpose of birthing new places for the divine within and between the pilgrims has become a part of my spiritual DNA. Every pilgrimage begins the excitement, the promise and the birth pangs anew. In between pilgrimages, I am blessed to live out my call as the rector of St. Anne in West Chester, OH.

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