As I donned my shoes and headed out the door for the 6th day in a row for my walk along the paths around town it became very clear to me how walking the Camino had prepared me as to how to act for my sense, sensibility and my soul during this pandemic.
Today, in particular, the weather was similar to many of my walking days in Spain. Spain has been hit so hard it has been on my mind of late. What is happening to all of the owners of the Albergues, the pilgrims walking, what do their days look like during this worldwide pandemic? Where are they laying their head? Have some of them made it home?
I am really not sure if it was the weather, the fact that I was wearing the socks and shirt that I wore most days of walking. Maybe it was my “Camino” playlist that I played when I felt like I needed a companion on the Camino, or if I needed help up a hard hill. Many times I listened to it just to dance something out that had been on my mind or on my heart. As many other pilgrims would attest they would come upon the dancing pilgrim making her way along the Camino throughout the day.
Many of the paths around this town have a similar vibe to different places I walked in Spain, between the clothes, the music, the weather it was really easy for me to be transported back to the time 2 years ago, almost to the day that I took 40 days away from the world wherein my only mission of every day was to walk. Not talk, not interact, just walk. Yes I did talk and I did interact, but very little. That was not what I wanted for my Camino. I did enjoy some amazing dinners with lovely people. But my Camino was simply to get away and to turn inward. I was given the chance to just “be” and to walk for 40 days. I was grateful and very aware of the luxury I had been granted to take this time away from my regular routine of life.
We are in the middle of this worldwide pandemic that is causing a new normal for all of us. We will never be the same again. Sadly the financial instability for so many is maybe more than they can bear. But here is the stark reality, we can not change it. We are now all in a collective grieving process of what our lives once were. They will never return to the lives we had before this pandemic. Some things will change for the better and some for the worse. The sooner that we truly accept the change, the sooner we will feel the darkness and fear begin to lift.
Essentially everything that we go through in life, all grief, every tragedy in our life, the only way through it is acceptance. Acceptance of what is this new normal. It does not mean that we won’t go through all of the stages to get there but no matter what we do this new normal will not change until it does. In the same way, we can’t bring our loved ones back from the dead, the only way forward is to accept this new normal.
We are being given an opportunity, once in a lifetime really, to just be. An opportunity when “doing” is not expected in fact it is frowned upon, but a chance to just be.
When I was out on that path today, I could have kept walking, it was as if my feet had the memory in them that the longer and further I walked the closer to my soul I got. I nearly did keep walking and then I remembered that unlike the 40 days I had on my own, this time I had people at home who needed me and who relied on me for love and support through this trying time.
A husband who is still working full time both at work and at home because he manages our local Walmart and he feels a deep need to be there for his “folks” as he calls them and his customers. In a real sense, they are his family and he is as protective as a momma bear with her cubs. A daughter who’s every piece of her world has been turned upside down and who has had every event that she was looking forward to canceled on her, but who in the deep parts of her soul, loves that her mom is home and present to her.
My God, what a gift we have been given. If you have children, even teenagers like mine, I know there is likely pain and chaos, but you have been given a gift to be the most important person, the most important peer to your child right now.
Yes, we have created a schedule, yes I have started a meditation course online. So yes, I am doing. But we are being offered this amazing opportunity to just BE. My hope is that even if it is just for a few minutes that you take some time to be and not to do.
Take a walk
Sit on the porch with a tea
Let the world go by
You have been given the gift of rest. Maybe, just maybe you needed it.
In love, light and laughter