For the past several months I've been reflecting on the lessons of the Camino as I've dealt with matters of money and other related stresses that have hung over me like a gritty, dark cloud. This past week has been some kind of culminating point. I suppose it will go into the book. It may not. But things are different now.
I was walking to the bus stop yesterday, trudging along in the heat, sweating and cranky and anxious, worried about money and bills and the possibility of having to leave my longtime apartment and go elsewhere. And I felt a nudge at my back, a gentle but firm push. It stayed with me for a few blocks, this sensation of being steered by an invisible guide. I almost looked over my shoulder several times to see if anyone had come up behind me and laid a hand on my lower back.
I remember this on the Camino. I remember feeling a gentle tug, now and then, at random moments, and it was enough to redirect my thoughts—for a short while, at least—away from my woes and the steady drumbeat of I am not enough. I can't do this. I am a failure in everyone's eyes and in the eyes of God, whatever She/He is.
I haven't felt that gentle nudge since returning from Spain. If it's happened, I have not noticed. On the bus, I thought about it and my life and my bills and deadlines and perceived failures and how all of it seems to be coming to a culmination point right now. And the word "moving" came to me again. The word had already come up that day in conversation, because I might actually be moving soon.
This time, it had new meaning. I realized it was the new title of my Camino memoir. And so it is, unless something else comes along with greater resonance: Moving: Breaking Down and Growing Up on the Camino de Santiago.
Whatever else happens today, next week, next month, I'm moving again.
Photo credit: © Benjamin Scuglia.
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