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A Devotion From Pastor Alexa

Last weekend, I embraced the invitation from Thurston Talks to go on an urban hike which follows the route of the salmon from the Tumwater Hatchery, to the Puget Sound (at the 5th Ave. bridge in Downtown Olympia). Last spring, I traveled to Scotland for a pilgrimage (St. Cuthbert's Way) with 6 other clergy. Transforming the practice of walking, into a practice of pilgrimage, changed my experience of the activity. I was no longer walking for walking's sake, or for exercise's sake, instead to strengthen my spiritual endurance, and to enjoy the journey with my fellow pilgrims: to be a good companion and receive blessed companionship. The invitation from Thurston Talks sounded like an invitation to pilgrimage to me — an invitation to journey with fellow pilgrims: the salmon that are so vitally important to our ecosystem and community's sustainability. 

To start my pilgrimage with the salmon, I read a poem from 'Songs of the Coast Dwellers': The Chief's Prayer After the Salmon Catch. Here's an excerpt: "KIA-KUNAE, praise! Thou hast opened thy hand among the stars, and sprinkled the sea with food; The catch is great; thy children will live... Another year thou hast encompassed us with life."

Pilgrimaging with the salmon, it got me to wondering, when I'm feeling alone, or lonely, who or what am I not noticing as my fellow pilgrims? I journey to and from Tumwater regularly in my day-to-day life; how did I miss the salmon that travelled with me? Praise! God hast sprinkled the sea and land with companions! 

May we continue growing into faithful, enjoyable companions for our fellow pilgrims, and may we come to see who walks alongside us.

Click here to learn more about the urban hike!

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