All good pilgrimages involve eating, praying and loving.
In the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” which we saw last night, the main character traveled from New York City to Italy (food), India (prayer or connection with the divine) and Bali (love).
Oh travelers! You need not visit Italy and India and Bali to find yourself!
No, no, no.
Duluth, Minnesota, will do.
Let’s start with eating. Food. We’ve sampled French Toast with stout maple syrup, smoked octopus (and, yes, it was heavenly!), gourmet sandwiches at Sir Benedict’s on the Lake, black bean salad, Thai spring rolls, Seafood Basil Delight. We’ve ooohed and aaahhhed for thirty six hours. We’ve visited five different restaurants thus far…and a couple of pubs to boot. Our taste buds have salivated in joy. Our tummies are content. As soon as this blog is posted we’re walking a mile or two to Amazing Grace Cafe for breakfast. Yep. The food has been as good as in the movie. Definitely.
Prayer. Besides going to “Amazing Grace” cafe for our communion with food, I have meditated in bed the last two mornings in the dark hotel room, breathing deeply. We have uttered words of thanksgiving. We are some of the luckiest people on the planet to be able to travel (OK, only four hours from home this trip). I believe that one of the best prayers one can say involves no words. It involves an exquisite presence to what is unfolding in the moment. The heart opens in gratitude. It prays by itself in those moments. The world reveals itself as sacred, holy, divine. India, we don’t need to go to you. That is available to us…right now!
Love. When some of the planet reads the words “Eat, Pray, Love” they think of Romance. Sex. Exciting passion. Which, I suppose, can be part of the definition of love. When I think of love, it’s an extension of food and prayer. It’s an openness of the heart. Appreciation. Connection. Compassion. Presence.
Love is present sipping coffee, visiting the Saint Louis County Heritage and Arts Center (with the shops of the early 1900’s in Duluth and the turn-0f-the-century trains), shopping, walking through the vast Skywalk system underground and over expressways, touring a Great Lakes Freighter, admiring the harborfront.
Love can be present everywhere, on every trip.
Thank you for joining us as we Ate, Prayed and Loved!