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A reflection on starting, continuing and ending a trek. What it might mean for an older person's slower progress, and how it relates to what Dag Hammarsjold called "the journey inwards."


  1. At the start, it's only the journey that matters:
     just to be on the move creates the excitement;
  2. I need to keep moving to be making progress:
     dreams and possibilities make the travelling worth while.
  3. But an older person wants things to remain as they were:
     an ancient culture strives to conserve the status quo,
  4. for looking back stirs memories of glory:
     history's more exciting than the threat of something new.
  5. On the journey inwards it's God who moves us forward:
     tradition can give me the start that I need,
  6. for you are the journey we travel:
     you are the goal to which I aspire.
  7. Later, it's novelty that motivates us:
     each day there must be something different;
  8. every step brings the chance of a new experience:
     round the corner is something I've never seen before.
  9. But an older person likes to return to well-known places:
     there's comfort in seeing the same people over again;
  10. a relationship depends on repeating successful outings:
     to be together is more interesting than doing something fresh.
  11. On the journey inwards you too have walked my path:
     you bring from your treasures things old and new;
  12. your presence sustains me in all I have to face:
     you are in us now, as once you were with your friends on earth.
  13. Finally to complete the journey is our primary aim:
     to have finished what we had decided to do -
  14. never mind the way we go:
     stopping and taking notice will only delay.
  15. But an older person needs to take a rest:
     to stop and stare is central to any pilgrimage;
  16. what is life if there's no time for contemplation:
     we need strength to continue and space to consider where we are.
  17. On the journey inwards, I need time to reach beyond time:
     give us your spirit and power to continue faithful to the end,
  18. for the last may be the hardest part:
     I need your strength and hope for the final ascent.