So much of life is planned. It seems like every day I am constantly juggling schedules and agendas. When I do seem to get a moment of free time, I end up using that time to plan for what’s next. My mind is rarely at rest, causing my thoughts to billow.
Like a cloud before a major storm the slightest breeze can unleash the flood of thoughts. So as to avoid the rain, I, and I imagine many others too, umbrella ourselves with music, our preferred intoxicant, menial tasks, and pointless distractions. Ducking between our monotonous schedules, we shelter ourselves from the turbulent thoughts of our mind.
When I went onto the Camino the first time, all of that chaos ceased. The clouds parted. In the three years since my first Camino, I have learned, grown and changed so much. Lessons on how to live the buen camino (good way) of life that were planted in June and July 2016 have nourished me in the years since.
Yet, like the finest silver, those lessons have been tarnished by life experiences. I have bought a home. Milestones of five and ten year reunions from college and high school respectively. Mistakes were made. New friendships were made. My dad died. New experiences were had. Jobs have been left.
Life has a way of rolling onward without a moments notice. Just as you feel your head coming above water, a new wave rolls in with the changing of the tide. Like a boat in water, the passengers often forget that they are at sea until the ship drops anchor and they see the shore bobbing in the distance. By walking the Camino, I allow myself the grace of a pause, a moment to drop anchor.
I need this pause.
I need this moment for the waves to be still.
I need the clouds to part.
I need this walk.
In this transitional period between a career I have loved daily and a graduate school program in a state I have never visited—I need to process, I need to retreat. I need to allow that storm that has billowed for the past three years to release its flood and wash away the chaos.
The truth is, however, that we all need a wash. A pause. A moment to unleash the flow of our everyday life and ride along with the current to see where the stream will lead us. While my next two years are planned, the years beyond are unknown, but like walking the Camino, I will take another step, unsure of where the road may lead me, but knowing that I am not alone along in this flow of life.