“Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then I said, Here am I: send me. – Isaiah 6:8
My life has been a series of dreams. Some would say I have my head in the clouds, but little do they know, I only hoped for “more.” I’m not unrealistic, just unable to settle for the mundane. I can see how the mundane would really be safe and steady, but for good or bad, not all of us can maintain that steady course. A few of us are scouts: always going ahead of the pack to check out potential paths.
I can remember when I was about four years old, wanting something “more.” Everyone in the room was sleeping (I have four sisters). It was dark and the streetlights lit the way down the as far as I could see. I was standing on my pillow, holding onto the cold steel bed frame, watching the night. What I could not express, but have never forgotten, was this incredible longing to walk down that street and past the lights. I am a wanderer.
Last year, I was at a crossroad. A path that I had boldly moved forward on came to an end, and like someone who had taken the wrong turn and found themselves in a cul-de-sac, I had to turn around and return home. Luckily, my husband felt that he should stay behind to make sure that the job panned out before selling the house and quitting his job. When my job ended, I wondered if I had made a mistake in taking it. Being alone in a village in Alaska taught me to find peace in my home and with myself. It was a hard lesson.
Sometimes we get stuck in even a good idea. We might have plans, goals and reasoning; and it might appear to be foolproof. But when it doesn’t work out, you’ve got to let it go. After letting go, do not harbor any grudges toward those who helped to close the door to your dream. And finally, don’t be embarrassed about returning to the point where you missed the path. It’s okay. The dream was real; it just wasn’t for you.
It was during this time of solitude in Alaska that I stumbled across a movie online. The movie was about a father who traveled to Spain to retrieve his son’s body. The father discovers his son’s dream about walking the Camino de Santiago, and decides to finish his son’s hike while carrying his ashes. The movie was called, “The Way,” with Martin Sheen. If you haven’t seen it: you should. As I lay in my dark living room, watching this film on my computer, tears streamed down my face. I paused it several times, walking around the room, feeling something that I hadn’t felt for a very long time. It was a strong pull, a knowing. I was called to walk this path. When I spoke to my husband, he insisted that I follow my heart and go.
The Camino is said to call to those who walk it. The path has been in use for over a thousand years as a pilgrimage. It is a path that draws you away from this modern, convenient world, to realign your values, you heart: your soul.