Being home from the Camino for two weeks, I miss blogging and am hearing from others that they miss my blogs as well. Putting them both together, I have decided to write as I continue to walk, after being ill with a cold for 10 days, recovering from the flight, the mold and mildew in the very old buildings we slept in, and taking time for reflection on the journey. Feel free to “unfollow” as you wish or continue on the journey with me as you are always welcome.
Yesterday I walked a 5.5 mile loop on country road toward Isanti and then looping over to the walk/bike trail through aspen, birch, and white pine to the bog walk and back home. Walking without a pack on my back is a pleasure as well as the dry air which was noticeably different from the humidity I left in early September that can be like walking through soup. Yesterday was a refreshing walk in sun and shade with a brisk breeze that required wearing my buff over my neck and ears as I started out. Two items from the camino that have become my walking friends, buff and fanny pack.
As my pace slowed to a comfortable rhythm allowing my mind to calm, I began to reflect on the comments regarding the Camino, “the Camino provides” and “the Camino carries you along.” Both are true statements that we felt and witnessed in many ways from Mary praying and asking for flip flops for her wounded feet and there they are on the trail the next morning, Di needing a bed on a lower bunk and it is given by 26 yr old Corrine who is wounded and recovering but offered her space to Di. Acts of mercy and charity that are common on the Way. The energy of millions who have walked this path over centuries has imbued this journey with an energy that is palpable and comforting. I was able to tap into this stream during my walk on the Camino feeling the peace of calm mind and heart as we walked and journeyed on in our modified way.
The question/thought arose then as I walked yesterday that as millions of people and animals walk this earth daily, is this energy also available here now as I am walking today and everyday? Do we feel it more acutely on the Way as it is talked about and honored and expected there and we have removed ourselves from the ordinary to do so? If I calm my mind and open to all that is around me, the trees, birds, dirt under my feet, the water, grasses, and those who pass me on the path, those who walked before me, the Santee or Eastern Dakota who walked and lived this area of earth, the Europeans who settled and worked the land, and those who walk with me in spirit, can this energy be with me wherever I walk?
There is much to tap into wherever we are on this earth if we choose to do so, if we bring our attention to do so, if we allow our mind and heart to open to the possibility, the isness of the moment and space. When we call on the ancestors, the spiritual masters, Jesus, Amma, Buddha, our teachers, our guides, we never walk alone. When we pray, when we ask for what we need, when we stay open to watching for the signs of response that are not always as we expect, our needs are met.
There is something very special about the Camino. We walk out of ordinary time to take time to be on a journey. It is truly a journey to be had if one feels called to do so. I do believe, however, that the journey out of the Camino calls each of us to carry this time out of ordinary time with us into our home space. If we do not, it would be like believing that that which we name God, resides only in a church because the church has been built for worship. The Camino holds what I can access anywhere my heart resides and is open to see and hear. Walking into a space is an interaction between the space and what I bring into the space. I can walk on a space of earth oblivious to it’s creatures, it’s energy source, and it’s pulse or I can walk bringing my attention, my presence, my intention and experience the world in a wholly different way, one that is full of possibility, grace, and blessing. It is that which I experienced on the Camino and that which lifted me yesterday as I walked my 5.5 miles surrounded by beauty, greetings from strangers, a dog who wanted to be my companion, my mantra, spirit guides and grace.
The day ended with wishing my 8 year old grandson “Happy Birthday” and being surrounded by the love of family, our first gathering since I returned. That which I have returned to, that which never left me while on the journey, and that which is abiding love on earth.