Welcome to my new blog. Thank you for dropping in. You are here for a reason, a synchronicity that gently pulled you towards this moment in time. A chance click, click, click on the interweb and voila, here you are. If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake. So pull up a chair and let’s chat a while.
Perhaps you are embarking on a season of change in your life, like I am, and you are now standing at a crossroads. You are gingerly stepping your toe out onto any one of many pathways that look inviting, and yet, you are hesitant. Why is this? Are you afraid of taking the wrong path and missing out on something else along another route? Or is it a timing thing and you are unsure of the when? Or are you paralysed by what you think other people might think of you? Through my life so far, I have learned that there are no wrong pathways, as such, just opportunities to change direction at different times. Some paths will take you straight ahead into a new direction all together, others may twist and turn here and there, until you realise you have come full circle and things may seem familiar but, strangely, are not.
I first heard the call of the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Route of Santiago de Compostela or The Way of St James, several years ago when I read The Pilgrimage, by Paulo Coelho. I can’t remember where I was at the time. Anyhow, I couldn’t put the book down. I felt a fluttery feeling in my solar plexus and an expansion of my heart that told me this is a journey I would do at some point in my life. However, since I turned the last page of the book, I continued to follow my vocation in life as a humanitarian aid worker, hurtling along in perpetual motion so much so that I couldn’t squeeze a 500 mile trek in between missions. Or at least, I didn’t feel compelled to make the pilgrimage or, more accurately, allow myself the time and space to do so. Until now. Today, is Sunday 6th September 2015 and I have eleven more days to go before I fly to Biarritz and travel onwards to St. Jean Pied de Port, the starting point of my walk. So how did I get here?
Three synchronicities occurred this year, nudging me ever closer towards this point of departure. The first one came disguised as a chance meeting at the number 87 bus stop in Whitehall, which led to a friendly chat about the Camino on the bus ride home to Battersea and has opened up a whole new horizon since then. Was the Camino calling me then? Secondly, following this chance meeting, my new friend Brett (who is now my partner) and I watched the film The Way, while enjoying a glass of red wine and I have since watched it two more times. I can honestly say each time I took away a different perspective or insight from it, which amplified the call. Thirdly, I chose to take time out from work in order to care for my mum, while she endured terminal cancer. I remembered that, in the past, my mum and I had talked about walking a portion of the Camino de Santiago together, but, sadly we never made the time to do it before her illness took hold and she passed away on 11th July 2015. My mum was my best friend.
Accompanying her on her end of life journey was both an immense privilege and a heart-rending challenge. What better way to honour the memory of my best friend than to walk the Camino de Santiago? The Camino had called me again and this time I answered.
I will do my best to capture my thoughts, sights and experiences as I prepare for my pilgrimage, as well as along The Way in this blog. You can journey with me if you like. Feel free to drop me a line through the comments below or click on the icons in the bottom right hand corner of this blog to contact me through various forms of social media.
Peace, love and light,