My 60th birthday Pilgrimage

"What if the heart does not pale as the body wanes,
but is like the sun that blazes hotter each day
on these immense, perishing fields? What then?"
— Jack Gilbert, "Getting Ready"

Hi friends! Did you know  that if you live long enough, you will eventually turn 60?  Its true, it happens to all who are lucky enough to survive and as of April 11 this year, I will be able to count myself among the lucky. 

In honor of the years I've lived and my committment to living them as fully as possible, I have decided to undertake the first leg of the  pilgrimage on the Camino De Santiago by walking from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Burgos, Spain. God willing and assuming I'm still ambulatory, I plan to complete the pilgramage during the year of my 65th birthday in 2023. 

My plan is to undertake the journey alone so that I can walk with the question of what I might give to the world as I transition into crone-hood and to see if I can name  what, if anything stands between myself and the awakening I have pursued for so long through the making of art, poetry and dance.  

These days I live in Barre Massachusetts in a buddhist meditation center,  where I help to facilitate the awakening of others by working to make their meditation experiences as seamless as possible.  The work I do is deeply rewarding and satisfying and sustains my life adequately, but is there is not a lot left over for travel. I find I still need about $1500 to purchase the gear I will need to undertake the journey.  (The airline tickets have already been procured, and the money for my daily expenses is coming out of my savings.)

I am thinking of this trip as a gift to my life to come. 

I plan to do the walk in September when I can get the time off and the weather in Spain is more reliable.  My first nights in the Pyrenees have been booked and paid for, and I've begun training by walking 3 to 5 miles a day, and working on my leg and core strength at the gym. If  anyone is up for a hike this summer, please contact me!  I'll be heading for the mountains on most of my days off.  

Everyone who gives a gift will recieve a thank you note from me and will have their name included in my gratitude chant as I train and walk each day between now and my return on October 5th. The top 5 donors will recieve a small original work of art. 

To all of you, I express wishes for your best lives yet to come. Thank you for whatever support you are moved to give.  

  • Jamie Wood Hayes 
    • $35 
    • 35 mos
  • Connie Wellday 
    • $25 (Offline)
    • 36 mos
  • Daphne Slocombe 
    • $25 
    • 40 mos
  • Johnathan Woodside 
    • $50 
    • 40 mos
  • Rodney Johnson 
    • $25 
    • 40 mos
See all


Julie Vohs 
Barre, MA
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