I am home after my beyond-wildest-imaginings 799km, long walk through Spain on the El Camino de Santiago. Here, at home, the ocean air fills my lungs with tender, familiar welcome and I am wrapped in family warmth.
And I am still walking.
I dream at night I am on stretches of land that once held me. During the day memories ooze their sweetness at unexpected and random turns.
I have been broken open by the beauty of the road and the way things were, and there’s no putting me back the way I was. Will I always be that stepping soul-wanderer, seeking the sun and wind on my cheek? Others before me, tell me this is the shape of it.
I am now the pulse of the earth, and the rhythmic march of friends who’ve shown themselves. I dwell in that wild space that is me, them, and everyone and everything. My heart is softer, bigger. Open.
And so I stumbled on words from Caroline Myss to help me make sense of it all. It echoed the nature of the journey, the Camino, which ultimately is a metaphor for the journey through life.
She says: Choose to get up every day and bless your day. Base your gratitude just on the fact that you are alive. Hold this prayer in your heart. “This day in my life will never come again. I will never see the people I am looking at again. I will never see the sun rise again and see the sun set. I will never see the person I’m having breakfast with in the same way. Nothing in my life like this will ever come again. That choice alone should take out of your heart every bitter taste there is, that it should shape the life around you with such grace and such beauty that it should make you only want to see the present with great gratitude and love.”
What I experienced on the Camino is etched in my soul and wrapped around my heart, forever. It makes me who I am going forward.
The sun that rose and filled that sky each day. I will not forget. The song of steps, crunching stones. I will not forget. The land, the path of many, The Way. I will not forget. The simplicity. I will not forget. My friends and fellow travellers. I will miss their stories and the shape of their souls. I will not forget. The timelessness. I will not forget.
I graciously hold appreciation, love and the impossible joy of being. I cannot forget. I will not forget. And this is the gift.
For those of you that missed my daily updates on my grand Camino, you can find it all here: https://www.facebook.com/mywayonthecaminodesantiago/