While I so enjoyed sharing stories and lessons from the Evliya Çelebi Way with you, now I’d like to get a little more practical. What follows is a round up of information I hope you’ll find useful, should you be interested in walking the route yourself.
Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving today or not, I hope you find a bit of time to say your own prayer of gratitude. For life’s many crazy blessings, for new cities to explore, for the gift of home, and of course, for pumpkin pie.
I will be leaving Turkey grateful for this unexpected lesson in navigation. We have to trust that the direction our compass is pointing in – whether what lies ahead is a less defined path, or perhaps there’s no path at all – is worth taking. It always is.
And the final thing I realized, on a rainy Thursday afternoon in Turkey, is that the path knows exactly what we need and when. Warmth. Shelter. Direction. A guide. It’s up to us, then, to trust the path and its provision. The path, like life itself, is always right.
Every step of the way is the point – that much I hold onto, even as a perfectly round blister forms on the bottom of my right big toe. As for what will happen at the end? That, my friends, is still a mystery – and also part of the point, wouldn’t you say?
I’m overwhelmed by everything I will never understand about Stan’s story – what it means to lose a parent so soon in your life, what it means to hear enemy tanks encircling your city at night – and by the simple yet poignant wisdom he now shares with me.
And so it was that I decided to return to Iž, to circle back to who I was the last time I was here. I wanted to sketch the island again – and to honor the crazy journeys that life delights in sending us on. As I sketched, all I could think was: thank you.