Quite present in the here and now, I spent yesterday monitoring Jeb’s low-grade fever, haggling prices with a car salesman, sweeping dust bunnies from under my bed and steam cleaning my floors. Feeling the same kind of “nesting” energy just before giving birth to my son, I wonder what is driving this flurry of practicalities.
This morning in a newly angled bed, beneath all fresh linens, I drink coffee under the covers and allow myself a moment with a book. Joyce Rupp’s “Walk in a Relaxed Manner” chronicles her 37 day pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago at the age of 60.
Only two chapters in and I’ve found quotes and passages that resonate. Somehow I feel a weaving of the Archives, northern Spain and my current dust pan tasks. She reminds that the ancient way of the Camino is a physical reflection of the path we each walk in life. How do we take our steps?
“…on a refugio wall in El Burgo Ranero. It said: ‘Peregrina (pilgrim) you do not walk the path, the path is YOU, your footsteps, these are the Camino.'”
I can nurture romantic visions of walking a stony path in forests filled with purple crocus, but perhaps the treasure found there is just as rich as what could be touched, here, as I wipe down my window screens (well, I’m not sure how much of that you’d actually want to touch). Certainly there is beauty in imagining a sacred path in a distant land. I’ll keep that dream alive. Yet right here, golden morning sun lights the drooping banana leaves like tropical icicles, heavy dew dripping in sparkled drops.
Rupp suggests that wherever you are the Camino can be found, quoting Pema Chodron’s sage advice to “train wholeheartedly.”
I am in training. On a journey. One step at a time.
Rupp tells of the inspiration she had to share her experience on the Camino, when at first she had been inclined to keep the special experience to herself. It was an article she read including Joseph Campbell’s description of the mythic hero, someone who ends a journey with one of two kinds of heroic acts:
“A physical act in which the individual gives his or her life in sacrifice for others, or a spiritual act, in which the hero returns to share an extraordinary experience, and thus deeply benefits the community.”
I’m no hero. My journey is far from mythic. But I’m on the path, in training. I observe and call back some snippets of what I find. Log details in the Archives. Yesterday turned up dead moth larvae in remote corners, long untouched. This morning it’s hints of summer sun through my bedroom window.
The path is mysterious. My intention is connection. The strategy? Just keep showing up.