When I launched my camino campaign, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly did not expect it go take off. As I have said before, I was nervous – and I felt awkward. My expectation level was low, so I figured if nothing happened, so be it. So many people have responded, and continue to respond, with tremendous generosity, both materially and in friendship, love, prayer, as well. It is overwhelming, but it is primarily awe inspiring and I am overflowing with gratitude that is beyond words. Thank you all so much. My heart and my prayers for all of you who have supported me in whatever ways you can!
Since I did not have any expectations, rather unusual for a super-controlling person like myself (those who know me well and personally can attest to this! 🙂 ) the entire experience has shifted how I view my Camino de Santiago. Suddenly what felt like a dream, has more reality to it. The thought of going had a Brigadoon-like quality to it, a place enshrouded by mist that might be revealed every so often, but that might not be real. As the saying goes, pardon my clarity, but when support began to show up, sh*t got very real, very fast. The camino is no longer a mist-enshrouded village that may or may not appear if I get around to walking it; the camino path now opens up before me, paved with the stones of good wishes and love. That is the path – your support and my prayers and footprints.
The Spanish poet Antonio Machado wrote these words (this is the English translation, original text can be found if you click the poet’s name, which is a link – page down a little) The journey begins with these steps, the years of dreaming and putting off, taking no steps, pushing the dream away, then allowing the dream to blossom, take shape, find a partner, and with that clearer prayers, that have now blossomed into this garden of generosity and hope. That is “the way” each footstep, those taken, and those in my heart – and in your hearts as well – step, by step. There is no path, we are the way. As he put it…
Wayfarer, there is no path
by Antonio Machado
Wayfarer, the only way
Is your footprints and no other.
Wayfarer, there is no way.
Make your way by going farther.
By going farther, make your way
Till looking back at where you’ve wandered,
You look back on that path you may
Not set foot on from now onward.
Wayfarer, there is no way;
Only wake-trails on the waters.
As summer began to unfold, I took a long walk with a friend, and in the aftermath of that long walk, she wrote me a letter following up on our (non-camino) conversation talking about the need to go forward, to keep moving. These words linger in my heart, because that going forward has become the path. My own awareness of God’s presence on this path is remarkable, and I am deeply grateful for the constancy of God, step by step.
The net result for me is that I have been training very consistently, walking, sometimes running, a set goal every day, and typically – AMDG – surpassing it. In what comes to a shock to me, I only missed one day of my goal, because I did not feel well; not too bad! Right now I am averaging almost 40 miles per week – hardly camino-worthy, but a big improvement over where I began in May which had me about 25 miles per week, and those miles were all very slowly taken on flat ground alone.
Thank you for spurring me on with your prayers and support. My strategy for ongoing activity once the weather begins to change is already in formation, because once it starts getting darker earlier, I know that I am inclined to sloooooow down. But no, not this time! And thanks to you. We are walking as one on this journey, and that is the best part of this path I can assure you! If you have contacted me, you and your intentions are very much in my prayers. If you have any specific prayers or intentions, or just a general or perhaps special intention, let me know and I will add you to my prayer list. And don’t be shy if you can’t or don’t wish to donate, prayers are a gift to be offered, so please message me if you have something you want carried in my heart. And you don’t have to reveal things, I always say, “God knows.”
I’ll wrap up this already-too-long post with a video, of a song by Juan Manuel Serrat, which takes off from the aforementioned Machado poem. See you “on the road.”