Thursday, April 14, 2011

Amazing grace

 I apologize for my infrequent posting but work has set me upon the road attending a variety of meetings in various parts of this very large country. So, rather than doing what I enjoy most (writing about the Camino), I have of late found myself compressed into economy class, with my Kindle for companionship, crossing time zones surviving on cold sandwiches and little bottles of red wine. But now I'm back along with the echoes of gravel crunching under my boots, and fond memories of the freedom of spirit that so characterized our camino. The story resumes on the southern flanks of the Pyrenees with our bodies adjusting to this new line of work and our minds awash in the magnificence of this moment. But, wherein  lies the "why" in all this? Let's get to that.

We are restless beings, always on the move, seemingly never satisfied. Where are we headed? On the Camino after Zubiri is it Cizur Menor? And after that, now where? What guides us onward? What is our true destination? Does arrival in Santiago put us finally at rest. Physically, perhaps, but is that the essential purpose of this pilgrimage? Who could know? Does the restlessness disappear? Does this pilgrim road ever end? Is it meant to? Are you okay with that? Yikes, I just thought I was going for a walk albeit a bit of a long one.

I have found we are drawn Home to the Oneness, the peace/love, that was our issue at the beginning. That, to my way of thinking, is where Robin and I (and I suspect everyone else) hopefully are bound. All of our lives are pilgrim journeys, always afoot, always seeking the grace that we, at our very core, must reconnect with. All the rest is dross. Distractions from the main event. Whatever your religious beliefs are, or are not, I would offer that the times in your lives when everything just seems right have nothing to do with things or accomplishments (the sense of satisfaction is fleeting, isn't it?), but everything to do with accepting the hand of the One who guides us. Pure joy is found in these precious humble moments of insight (ah! hah!) when we discover the Way we are meant to follow. That is what led Robin and I to the Camino. It was an unscripted response to a sense that it was time to walk this particular leg of our journey Home. We felt something to be learned awaited us as we unconsciously prepared by peeling away distractions (shedding unnecessary weight), airing out our minds, and embracing contemplation and prayer. In that spiritual freedom our daily camino stages were transformed into walking meditations which I surprisingly enjoyed. It was the last thing I expected. It wasn't my plan, but it was the one I walked, and that made all the difference.

We search for the bread that once partaken forever satisfies our hunger, and the cup that once consumed forever satisfies our thirst. Is it just up ahead? Is it further down the Camino? Will it be on our way home? Not to worry, just keep walking (Ultreia!). Find and follow your Way.  Your heart will lead you on a truly peaceful journey and even if we get lost...grace will lead us Home.

Buen camino

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