Back in Jerusalem exactly three years later, some things are the same and some are different. I’m staying in the shadow of St. George’s Cathedral again, but this time in the College instead of the Pilgrim Guest House—which I didn’t even know were two different things last time! So I’ve been exploring and discovered a chapel on the second floor of the College with this lovely sculpture under the altar, a welcome bit of female iconography.
Our course officially begins tomorrow, May 1, which in my Roman Catholic girlhood was also a day associated with celebrating Mary—she really got the whole month. Later I learned that in the Celtic calendar, May 1 is the beginning of the season of Beltane, associated with growth and blossoming (whence May baskets and maypoles). So this feels like a particularly liminal threshold this year: saying goodbye to spring, welcoming summer (81 degrees today), and preparing to walk in “The Footsteps of Jesus” (our course title). I’ll be remembering Mary’s footsteps too.