Graphics: Journeys

Boy Traveling Away From Home

Closing Words: There are miles behind you, by Andrew Pakula

Andrew Pakula

There are miles behind you
And many more ahead
As you journey on toward wholeness
May all that is good and true guide your way
May the joy of love lighten every step
And the miracle that is life be ever in your sight

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

Journeys: The Journey, a poem by Mary Oliver

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Peter Mayer Song

Sun, my sail and moon, my rudder
As I ply the starry sea
Leaning over the edge in wonder
Casting questions into the deep
Drifting here with my ship’s companions
All we kindred pilgrim souls
Making our way by the lights of the heavens
In our beautiful blue boat home

– Peter Mayer


by Marlene J. Geary
Chair, Sunday Services Committee
Unitarian Universalist Society: East
Manchester, CT, USA

A journey is an act of traveling from one place to another. The journey might be physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual. Some folks plan their journeys. They select a destination and map out the route to get there. Others simply set out and go wherever the road leads them.

It is always a good time to stop and ask: what’s your journey? It’s a good time to imagine yourself on a plane, looking down over the landscape of your life. What does your life look like, viewed from 10,000 feet? Are you on a meandering path, wandering but not lost? Are you wandering and feeling lost? Are you on a path of your own choosing or are your steps chosen for you? For your life, is the journey more important than the places you’re going? When you look at your life, no matter how short or long, where have you been on your journey? What stories can you tell? What do those stories say about your life?

And then, take a moment to look ahead at the journey in front of you. What stories do you want to tell, a year from now? What life seeds did you plant last year that are coming to fruition now? What seeds do you want to plant for next year? What kind of journey do you want to go on this year? Where do you want life to take you? Do you need a destination or is the journey enough?