Just now, I found myself basking in the sunlight through my window. The furnace kicked on, my dog at my feet, my eyes not focusing on anything: meditation. I was in Spain, walking, seeing spring flowers, cold winds, threatening clouds, only hearing my staff hitting the ground, my boots crunch-crunching.
I pondered something my dear friend asked in the comments below: “Will you be walking alone, are you taking precautions….” Good questions. For those who have walked the Camino de Santiago, they know that you are not alone for long. There are others ahead of you, who have gotten up early and are setting the pace, and other behind you, catching you with their swift gait. Will I be alone? Yes, and no.
I am called to walk. To take up my staff, hoist my pack, and listen….listen….listen. As my husband reminded me, “You were called to walk….listen to what you know and do it.” I have his support behind me, and as my soul-mate, he understands the side of me that dreams and pursues. He is behind me.
As an example of how to pursue quests: I have my father, who has always looked at the next hill, or valley and sought to map it out. He supports me with his prayers and will walk with me in spirit. His blessing goes with me. But there is a greater reason why I am going alone.
Most importantly, I feel a return to the girl I once was in spirit: hearing the Lord’s voice, knowing his hand, and believing in his purpose. You know that crazy girl who saw miracles, heard songs, and believed in God? Yeah, that one.
The Camino has called to thousands across the world. From what I have learned from the stories online, other blogs, videos (youTube), and forums: most of us feel a compelling to walk it. So I won’t be alone, really.
To answer my dear friend Pam, “How can you be so brave?” I don’t know. Sometimes I think it’s wanting to listen to God through the journeys of those I meet along the way. “God” is so incomprehensible to our finite minds. A jeweled facet. But if you’re searching, you can see glances of His face in those who harbor His Spirit. So: maybe that is what conquers my fear: the search of the one whose voice I have heard during the times where I was most “alone.”
His voice: whispers of understanding at night, alone on my deck in Virginia, with the crickets singing and the lightening bugs blinking. His voice: in the expanse of the open land in Alaska, out alone skiing a trail with only crisp air and my dog jumping ahead. His voice in a quick glance exchanged between children, and the free laughter of joy. His voice in the wrinkled lines of wisdom or the thin skin of my mother’s beautiful hands. His voice, fluttering hope in my ear one night as I thought I had lost everything in my life. His voice.
I walk because He has always challenged me to seek and then communicate through song, poetry, or enthusiasm to others. Somehow, I had distanced myself from that pure-brilliant light, and stopped my ears with the loud voice of modern day electronics, schedules, procurement of money, frustrated relationships….on and on.
Knowing he is smiling, as I find my way. Alone? Never.