Saint Francis spent almost half of his life on and in the mountains, and the other half he spent on the road entering and leaving cities. As Jesus walked up the mountain to pray, then descended and moved among the people, so did Francis and the early brothers, discovering, contemplating, and sanctifying new places, as they continued to walk beyond their own history, as do we if we learn to walk into and out of our own Assisi as pilgrims.
To be a pilgrim means to let go of the need to be attached to one place only. Space, in turn, then becomes the place that home usually is. It requires traveling lightly, open to and expecting surprises and blessings from those we meet along the way—a foretaste of journey’s end.