Today September 30, 2014 I begin my journey. It involves a ferry, a car ride, a bus, two planes, a taxi and an overnight train. As unappealing as this may sound I’m embracing the adventure of it all.
Last week I was walking around Peaks Island preparing for my walk of the last 100 kilometers, read 62 miles, of the Camino de Santiago that actually begins on October 3rd. I was about a mile into my walk checking my time and distance on my Garmin watch and I found my mind wandering to how many miles I can walk in an hour and how many hours I’ll be walking each day. I began planning the whole thing, day by day. Thinking about what time I should start in the morning and how much distance I can cover before lunch. I imagined I could start at 8 and walk until noon. So, at 3.5 miles an hour I could complete most of the day’s walk by lunch. STOP! I caught myself doing this and almost laughed out loud. I’m not going on this walk as a race or to plan how it will all work out, I’m going to simply “be” on the walk, not “do” the walk. No plan, no rush. There are so few times in life that any of us have the luxury of getting up each morning and walking through, what I imagine to be, beautiful scenery, trees with turning leaves, rolling hills and small towns filled with great food and wine. I might meet people or walk alone; I might listen to my book on tape or to the sounds of nature. Who knows? What I do know is that I have spent most of my life anticipating what will happen and creating lots of scenarios, some catastrophic, some romantic, but all in my head. When the reality of life unfolds before me with no forethought or plan or even an expectation about what will happen it can be magical. That is what I want; the magic of each day, the unexpected excitement. I realize this is not easy and probably takes some effort. It seems like a lot less work to let life just be. To be in the moment. That may sound cliché but that’s what I look forward to.
I have managed to fit all my worldly possessions in a carry on suitcase and small daypack and I’m off. I have never been a great picture taker and often let the images of my journeys live in the emulsions of my mind. My husband, Steve, takes hundreds of pictures when we’re together and I have come to rely on his chronicle of our adventures. This time I’m on my own with both a real camera, if I can figure out how to use it, and my iPhone, with the intent of taking loads of pictures. That may or may not happen. Who knows? My only plan is to enter this journey with wonderment and a true sense of adventure. “Now it’s a matter of gliding through… I picture an autumn leaf happily floating down a stream. It can be nearly effortless as the current and wind carry you.” Thanks Steve.
I am grateful for this opportunity and will certainly stay in touch and let you know if the challenge of living in the moment is real for me.
Stay in touch and I will too.
With love and gratitude,