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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Camino Begins

Monday, November 14, 2011, 2:41 PM

I stopped in at Bookman's a picked up a copy of Shirley MacLaine’s book The Camino: a Journey of the Spirit. While having lunch at a local, inexpensive, Mexican Restaurant I began to read.   Spoke to my daughter who is giving me much frustration and had to just let go of attempting to control the situation.  She is a grown woman who in my estimation is not making very good choices right now.  But, she is making them and all I can do is tell her what I think, then sit and worry about the outcome.  I am fearful that something will happen to her which I cannot stand to think about.  She is flying across the country to see a man/boy she is obsessed with calling it love.  I don’t trust him, nor like him because of his behaviors toward her which have caused her great distress.  Even so she is off and all I can to is wait for her to return, hopefully alive and well.

The Camino starts here in Flagstaff, AZ.

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June 15, 2011, 12:40 pm

Flight 145 Heathrow to Boston

Well did not get to Austria, or France, or Ireland, or Scotland or even Liverpool this year. And now I'm heading home early which feels like the right thing to be doing at this point.   Not having almost unlimited funds as I’ve had for the past two years is part or the reason.  Needing to get back and take care of a number to things having to do with getting ready for next year’s tax season.  Also feeling like I’m needing to be with my son on his birthday and Father’s day.  This year there was no mother for my daughter’s birthday, or to celebrate Mother’s day or her birthday in May and now no mother at his birthday.  So rather than spend any more money and dealing with not so nice weather I’m heading home.

Several things have come to mind this year as I traveled that will apply to my trip next year.   The first it that my previous trips all had some goal attached to them.  All those goals have been reached which is one of the reasons I floundered around this year attempting to find some purpose.   Next I felt stuck, gee there’s a new one,  by not doing better planning on the events I volunteered at during the Festival.  The time between them required me to spend more time in Salisbury than ever before.  There was really no need to wait for a special order tire, which if I had paid more attention/focus just by looking at the one good tire already on the bike.  Focus or the lack there of was probably the biggest problem.   Then the weather was the worst I’ve run into since coming over here.  In the past I’ve had lots of rain which was not a problem because it was warm and there was little wind.

This year was much colder and windier than any previous year.  Wind blowing so hard that it almost stopped me from going forward while riding.  Almost daily wind, rain, and cooler temperatures then on prior trips caused my bones to ache.  This along with a lack of direction or focus, my mind more back in the states then here left me unsmiling.  Not all the time, but a good deal of it I checked in on myself and found no smile or wonderment on my face.  I found that even the birds, which sang me to sleep and woke me up in the past, went unheard.    Each of my previous trips ended being a spiritual renewal that seemed not to be possible this year.  A thought that kept running through my head was To much death this year, to many lives cut short and mind goes on.  Where is my gratitude?

So I found on line this site that talks about the process of a Pilgrimage.   A pilgrimage is most likely what my previous trips turned out to be.  So the following are the steps:

1.        Feeling what it means to be a pilgrim.

2.       Reading the signs along the way as the journey takes on a life of its own.

3.       Awareness of companions along the way and why are they there.

4.       History of the story we witness as we journey: Spiritual, historical, and political.

5.       As you travel you become part to the story, no longer an observer.

6.       Seeing where heaven and earth touch, seeing with the eye of you spirit

7.       Affirmation.  Opening up to what needs to be confronted or what is revealed.  

In retrospect the pilgrimage this year did not reveal itself until I made the decision to return home early.  Then and only then did the bigger pilgrimage I’ve been on become visible from the smaller.   Gary and I talk often about things happening when they are supposed to not necessarily in tune with when we think they should.   People, time and time again, ask me what drove me to do this bike riding in England.   Each time I answer them only I miss the answer.  I’m saying I dreamed of doing this for a long time yet only just found a way to do it.  Which seems to say that other things had more priority then doing this so it could not have been a very important dream could it?  What I really mean is in my mind was a hope that this would come to pass when it was mean to.  Not after doing it I’d which I’d done it sooner because it would have meant the same.

The first trip happened at a time when it was most needed.  Subsequent trips happened because the first did not give me enough time to complete the pilgrimage, not that it is completed now.  The bigger pilgrimage, my life, will not be finished until I die.  The smaller pilgrimages which create the bigger one are by no means over either.  The England Pilgrimage may be over, or needs to be looked at in a different context.  So it will become, at this point, England Pilgrimage II, because I think England Pilgrimage I has been complete thus this years feeling of being lost may be the beginning of England Pilgrimage II.

Step One:  Feeling what it means to be a pilgrim.

I think back to Gary and I talking about his Pilgrimage to Spain and Walking the Camino Santi Ago(?). 

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