Greetings from Santiago,
Today has been a sort of lazy day for us here. We are spending our time strolling the squares (there are three) surrounding the Santiago Cathedral, after touring the museo inside the ancient cathedral. This is a college town as well as pilgrimage spot and so there are musicians singing and playing and live performances going on in the streets. We have been watching pilgrims as they arrive throughout the day. They are easy to spot with their backpacks, walking sticks and camino shells hanging somewhere on their person. They speak every language imaginable and come riding bicycles as well as walking. They have a uniform look of fatigue mixed with the joy of completion.
Everyone seems to have their own reasons for doing the camino … I´ve heard everything from “my wife told me she was leaving so I left for the camino the next day” to “I came from Istanbul for a job in Sarria but it fell through so I decided to walk to Santiago”. One man with whom we shared a meal said he had just retired from 20 years in public servant in London and was using the camino to “sort through” his next step in life. Irregardless of the stated reasons, each and every one of those I’ve spoken to seem to be in some sort of transition. That must be true for me as well, although perhaps I had not verbalized it until this moment. No wonder my eye has been drawn to gateways!
I have decided to set up a walking pilgrimage for next year with the purpose of returning with others who want to pilgrimage. I visualize this setting as a perfect place for clients to experience the work of shedding story and surrendering to Reality.
There are so many reasons for people to do this; health and grounding, communion with nature and slowing down to be present in the present. And as I’ve said before -the camino certainly brings your story to the surface- whatever it is.
This morning in meditation I kept remembering words from a poem by David Whyte that seem to sum up my camino experience. It goes:
“Enough … these few words are enough …
If not these words, then this breath…
If not this breath, than this sitting here,
opening to a life that I’ve resisted again and again and again…
Until now … Until now.
I’ve spent so much time resisting life …
“Not yet”, I´d say … “not until I´ve finished this or that ….
Not until I´ve succeeded … or completed … or been here or there, or done this or that … THEN I can enjoy … then I can breathe and open to life.”
But there is no time to wait … because there is no time… only now.
May you celebrate opening and breathing – right now. May you say yes to your own private “camino” that starts this very moment with the decision to be fully present to your own experience of life as it is here, now.
In loving you,