Why I'm going back to walk the Good Way

July 22, 2017 - A friend messaged me as she was finishing her Camino. She was about four days from Santiago. In response to what she had shared, I said something like, The next time you walk the Camino... She adamantly replied, I think I am a one-and-done pilgrim.

I did not argue.

Less than a week after she returned, she messaged me and said, I am already thinking about the next time I will walk the Camino. The experience of the Camino is like that, it gets under your skin and into your soul. It reshapes the way you see the world, others and yourself. While you never sleep more than one night in any one place, the Camino become a place of belonging. And when you are away from it, a place of longing. At least, that is how it has been for me for the past three years.

In 2014, when I was walking, the World Cup was being played. One night, someone said, We should all come back and walk again in four years, the next time the World Cup is being played. At the time, I was like my friend. I wasn't sure I would walk it again, but if I did, I was pretty sure doing it in 4 years would be way too soon.

So how is it that I am now going to walk again, 4 years after my last pilgrimage?

I can assure you it is not the World Cup bringing me back. Though, it add a bit of energy to the experience, especially for the German and Brazilian pilgrims with whom I walked.

In the work I do as a Spiritual Director, I listen to people and hold their story. I partner with the Holy Spirit to create space where they can come to know their own heart and know God.

Returning to the Camino is an opportunity to create the space to hold my own story, to listen to my heart and for the voice of God. It is in being attentive to these places that I grow in my capacity to understand my own heart, know God more deeply, and serve other well. These are reasons enough to go.

But there is something else surfacing that makes me think God has more in store for me than I imagine. When I went on my first Camino, I was processing transition and the loss of some very significant places and people in my life. In some ways, the journey helped to acknowledge the loss and grieve it. It also trained my heart to raise my head in expectation of what would come next. Simply put, the Camino helped me to detach and move forward. These were beautiful and necessary gifts which I received from the experience and the people I shared it with.

What the Camino imparted to me was significant, but lately I have sensed God is desiring to do some deeper work which can only be accomplished by returning to the Camino and learning to hold it even more loosely than I already do.

I wish I could explain it more clearly than that, but I have a sneaky suspicion the "why" will not come into focus until I am walking. I hope you will follow me on my journey. Maybe in doing so, we can learn together how to more fully give ourselves to walking the Good Way.

Buen Camino!

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