Friday, March 28, 2014

Finding our joy

Smile for the camera (best he could do)!
The days are passing quickly by as our departure for Le Puy draws ever closer (less than a month now). We have done all the usual preparation, but at a somewhat less frantic pace this time around. There just isn't the same sense of urgency that we felt on previous camino departures. The desire to return to the pilgrim community, and walk, remains very strong, but we seem willing to accept that we cannot control many things, and if some of those things don't work out the way we had hoped, so what. That should not cause us any distress. We have adopted the attitude that all will be well, regardless of any surprises, or inconveniences encountered. It's all good. That's our goal. Now we shall just have to wait and see how we do (please feel free to remind us at some point down the track if we start grumbling). Perhaps this change in attitude stems from a growing familiarity with pilgrimage, and its attendant challenges. In the past we certainly have had moments on the camino when missed expectations unfortunately crowded out our joy. But, we learned from those experiences, and hope not to repeat them again. Our joy is found simply in being present, and accepting the gift of this camino with open hearts and minds. So, regardless of miserable weather, wet and sore feet, bed bug bites, or whatever other host of potential ailments might beset us we are determined to remain thankful for the opportunity to shoulder our packs once again and set out (à pied) for Santiago. This is going to be a remarkable journey. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Just a quick sidebar to explain the picture. A few days ago, I was out walking along the Columbia River, and saw this bald eagle sitting rather low in a tree on the riverbank. These birds are not uncommon in this area, but they are not usually seen this close to urban areas. This one remained calm as a cucumber seemingly indifferent to the restive crowd that had gathered to admire him. I (fortunately) was part of the crowd.

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