Reassurance from One Who Knows

April 9

-----Original Message-----

From: Eleanor Lefever
Sent: Sunday, April 09, 2006 12:50 AM
To: Dave Turkington (Shikoku Henro
Subject: Shikoku Pilgrimage

Greetings from New Zealand.
You must have almost finished your 2006 endeavour by now!
I am about to leave for Japan in 19 days to do the pilgrimage - its such a shame I won't be able to meet up with you - I imagine by then you will be having a well earned rest at home.

I have read numerous sites and pages on the pilgrimage but started to feel overwhelmed.
I decided to do the best I could with preparation and just let the rest unfold.

If you could give a naive probably-not-nearly-prepared-enough pilgrim one piece of advice before she leaves home - what would it be?

I look forward to reading your updated entries on your site...
Warmest regards

----- Original Message -----
From: Dave Turkington
To: Eleanor Lefever
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:58 PM
Subject: RE: Shikoku Pilgrimage

Good to hear from you. Thanks for the message. Yes, i am now back home.

Once piece of advice? Hmmmm....... I think it would have to be two pieces.

1) Being unprepared means absolutely nothing. You are taking the best approach in my opinion - prepare the best you can and simply not worrying about what might happen after that. This is by far the best way to approach the walk. Let each minute, hour, kilometer, day, and week simply unfold as they happen.

2) Very much related to number 1 is to not go into this with many expectations. Live each encounter fully and enjoy everything and everyone you meet to the best of your ability. I found that the true pilgrimage is not related to the temples at all. The real heart of this trip is what happens to you as you walk the trail between the temples. Unfortunately i am stupid and heard headed so didn't learn this until after my first walk. This second time around is much, much more enjoyable and meaningful because i do see that now.

Enjoy yourself. Have a good time. Ignore the walking on concrete and cement. Ignore the rain. Ignore the traffic. Ignore the blisters. Greet everyone you see. Make thousands of friends.

I'd love to hear from you when you get back home.


-----Original Message-----
From: Eleanor Lefever
Sent: Sunday, April 20, 2006 7:53 PM
To: Dave Turkington
Subject: Shikoku Pilgrimage

Oh Dave!
I don't know what I expected you to write but this is perfect and confirms what I had already decided. Upon training, I realised that it wasn't how far I went each day or how many hills I did, it was being able to put one step right after the last one - the mental aspect of walking - so I stopped using my pedometer and relaxed.
Thank you so much for your reply, and so soon after returning yourself.
I will certainly keep in touch.
Warmest regards and thanks again...

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