Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I started writing my first blog on the Camino in July and haven't written anything since.  But I have been busy preparing: I did take several long 12.5 mile hikes and many shorter ones in preparation, shopped and purchased my boots and backpack, borrowed stuff from friends; did a lot of reading of books and forums; attended talks at REI about the Camino and another one about "The Bedbugs of London" which was supposed to enlighten us about those on the Camino!  I've packed and unpacked my backpack several times eliminating certain things and then adding others.  And I've done a lot of thinking about how this Camino can change one's perspective about life.  Two things I've heard over and over is that the"Camino provides" and the "Camino changes you".  Now I'm wondering what glorious person I will evolve into.

Less than 2 weeks before I leave with my daughter, Jeannie and my sister Mary Jo.  It seems like a dream.  In the beginning when Jean first suggested the trip I thought of how cool it would be--great exercise, interesting sites, delicious food and fun conversations.   But more recently I'm reflecting on the path, the journey, the changes, experiences and opportunities. Looking forward to the silence, observing the scenery, hearing the sounds of gentle breezes and birds, my own and others' foot steps along the path, great conversations, meeting other pilgrims, and experiencing a deeper letting go and allowing, trusting and going with the flow, and of course fabulous food and wine!!!

Earlier in the year my sister experienced a fall on black ice which fractured her humerus and it wasn't very humorous! She just completed her last therapy but this experience gave her little time to physically prepare.  My daughter had a couple of back problems that left her literally flat on her back a couple of times this year.  She lamented that they are happening more frequently, closer together and seem to come from nowhere.  I was feeling pretty invincible until last week for some unknown reason and no provocation my left ankle became swollen like it had been sprained.  All of this caused me to contemplate, what if after all this preparation, one of us can't go?  What if that is the lesson, part of the journey?  Made me think of all the possibilities along the way, and all the things that could go wrong but also gave me pause to consider the endless experiences that will make it all right!  Buen Camino!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Bags are Packed, Ready to Go

Well, not exactly.  But I did load up my back pack to see how everything will fit for the trip I’ll be taking with my daughter and sister next spring.  We are embarking on the Camino de Santiago a 500 mile centuries old trek  across northern Spain. No, we’re not doing 500 miles but at least 100 and now is the time to start training and thinking about what to pack.

I received a txt from my daughter in late winter asking if I had heard of the Camino.  I replied that I read about it in Shirley MacLaine's book several years ago.  She txt back, "I'm in, are you?"  I responded, "Seriously?  Well, sure!"  And then she invited her Aunt, my sister who is a Sister of Mercy to come along. 

After attending a presentation, reading several blogs, Camino forums, and a few books, I am convinced this will be a very inspiring and interesting trip.  It won’t be the normal vacation for sure.  I’m preparing myself for a spiritual journey that will bring greater awareness and maybe some enlightenment.  

But the trip begins way before we set foot  on the airplane. It starts right now as I consider what to pack (my personal baggage) and what to leave behind (all the associated thoughts  and meanings surrounding it) I will carry everything I take  on my back every step of the way, so do you think I really need those curlers?  How about the makeup, jewelry, laptop and Iphone?

I know this journey is about trusting and letting go.  I think I do pretty well with that most of the time but as I think about what to bring "just in case" I'm reminded of how much more I need to surrender and allow life to unfold.  

Preparation is important and I do subscribe to the saying "Expect the best, plan for the worst."  But maybe in this case the planning for the worst has more to do with preparing myself spiritually for the journey and to trust that whatever happens, I'll handle it.  And to be reminded that I'm not alone!

I invite you along on this journey as I share this blog of my adventure and gain insights along the way.  Thanks for reading; appreciate your comments.