At last my feet are standing at your gates, Jerusalem.
What a long way to come by foot, passing through the wilderness, coursing through the millennia, mingling with distant neighbors. Love your neighbor, we're all told. Easy to do when our neighbor lives next door and looks just like us; more interesting to go far afield to meet the ones that are less like ourselves. I've met a lot of neighbors. It's overwhelming, really, as always at the end of the path.
It was not possible to know when I started out that I'd arrive in Jerusalem during the 'high season' when pilgrims are plentiful but accommodations harder to find - bus pilgrims, of course, I haven't seen any other foot pilgrims or even bicycle pilgrims. Pushing outward, I found a quiet monastery of St Martha outside the walls in Bethany at the traditional site where Mary and her sister Martha lived when their brother Lazarus was raised from the dead. The three Passionist priests give me just the solitude I need for the conclusion of my trek. See the sights, plan the return...
I sit with mixed feelings, of course: I've arrived! Yeah!! Delivered from evil!! Yeah!! but the pilgrimage is over. Boo =( Time to make my way back across the globe.