My camino is drawing near. It’s our greatest guarantee isn’t it – that time will tick, our lives will unfold and our dreams arrive.
I always like to have a little something brewing on the side in my life. That is how I keep my soul safe, you never know when you will need that protection. The little projects tend lead on to another little project (and the finest people) … some I finish (minimised our life) some I surrender (remember that book). But they always propel me forward, changing and expanding me for the better.
This camino has been the perfect anchor for me these past months and it comes at the perfect time. It comes at a time that I need to (am ready to) spend some time rebuilding (the beauty of spring). It has been a MASSIVE few years. Downsizing our possessions and needs, long term travel, moving continents, all the kids at school, time to think about resurrecting my career (tough one), my husband has started his own business … yeah massive!
When I started this project it was driven by my need to commit to doing something good in the world, something adventurous, something bigger than what I had attempted before. Something beyond my front door. I could have attempted to make it bigger but I chose to keep it close, within my grasp. That gave me the freedom to not only adjust, but also to control the pace, the ability to step in and out. This in turn has given me the freedom to be present in this camino (journey) towards the camino. It is about knowing your capacity.
Capacity – I encourage you to read this article here a brilliant read. Annette gently invites us to question our ‘actual’ personal capacity. It has been one of my favourite blog posts I’ve ever read.
Presence has meant that I know exactly what I need going into this trek and it has also shown me where I need to spend time beyond this adventure. These next weeks as I put one foot in front of the other I will be rebuilding some of trust and confidence in myself and my spirit that I’ve lost in this settling in phase of our overseas adventure. I’ll be thinking about some of the habits I need to improve when I return. I already know I need to get my kitchen in order … I killed a sour dough starter this year. That is not kosher!
I’ll be letting it evolve without plans. There are no bookings (except the train to get there and the first night’s accommodation). Distance and pace will be decided as my day and mood dictates. Walking, travelling light, eating local, taking the time to listen to pilgrim stories … slow travel.
Our recent mini trip to London over Easter had many of those moments that remind me of the sweetness of slow travel. The daffodils signalling the arrival of spring and sunshine, the realisation that while my daughter still wants to hold my hand (and equally give me eye rolls) I need to hold it tight, the conversations with my teenage son over our favourite topic, European history, the friendships my children cultivate with each other because we spend so much time as a family. There was a shift. It reminded me that I am home. Home is here wherever we live, together. It was good to feel that again.
Simple things the day brings when you’re not in a hurry and you’re not being dictated to by a schedule or when you allow yourself to be present enough to notice and feel it all. Yes, crafting space and letting go of what is not within our control is a far kinder way to live.
I have some ideas about how I might document this trip when I return but first I must take my camino. I need to find my own way on the road to Santiago de Compostella. I will share my journey briefly here and on IG as I hike (of course I’ll be taking you, you’ve all come this far). It’s exciting to (again) be on the cusp of an adventure – a new painting ready to paint with its unknown hues and shades.
‘When you feel it take your breath away
Just keep walking towards it anyway
Because life is a leap of faith’
~Sia lyrics from Leap of Faith
My favourite musical song ever! You need to flip to 1 min 30 sec to get to the start. It’s a beautiful song penned by Sia and one I’ve played a lot these past weeks.
Ahh you were waiting for my poem of the week weren’t you ;) I wrote this on the train early one morning this week.
Grasp it with all your might
Witness all that’s in your sight
There’s kindness to be found
When eyes are free to roam around
Notice the flowers in bud and bloom
Immerse in the cozy of a room
Allow your gaze to meet
Feel moved by strangers on the street
Give time for kind words shared
For there is courage in friendliness dared
Be unrestricted in the things
That give you a life that sings
We have educated 12 Girls through One Girl Australia! If you’d like to contribute you can do so here. Frances Antonia – Do it in a dress!