Its so quiet in the house right now. Luke and I stopped at Starbucks on the way to his first day as a junior in high school. We parked the big pickup in the far parking lot and I watched him walk away, his University of Oregon backpack hanging squarely on his broad shoulders and his head down, eyes lost in his phone, looking for the right music to keep calm. He was very nervous this morning. About 4 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than he walked out the high school doors last spring…he looks like a grown man, yet he is just a big kid. I said the usual momma prayers, keep him safe from all evil, help him focus and let him be a strong and righteous young man…send him to good teachers who connect with him. Let security and safety prevail over this school building….
Earlier, I got up and went to morning mass. Luke was awake and getting dressed. I said “Luke, I am going to Mass this morning to honor my mom. She died 25 years ago today.” He looked up at me and sincerely said “oh. I am sorry mom”. Those who know Luke will realize what a breakthrough statement he just made. My heart is still crying.
The house will be quiet when I am gone to Spain. Luke will go to school each day. Charlie will start his day with morning Mass and then go about his community service work and the small jobs he does to make extra change. I wonder, do houses get lonely?
In this quiet I am thinking about the Camino. 9 days until Paris. All the tickets are bought, reservations made up to Pamplona. I have everything ready in my pack. I could walk out the door right now.
What I am pondering now is another kind of preparation. Beyond the physical planning, the purchasing of clothing, weighing the pack, scheduling, hiking, weightlifting, trying on different shoes…
Am I spiritually ready? I am emotionally prepared? Am I mentally toughened? Do I have personal discipline to follow through?
Walking for hours on end…some of that time is spent talking and singing. There is also alot of quiet time. Time that is not filled with all the noise that fills your head at home. You will think about alot of “things”. Those things that need to be kept will be kept. Those things that need to be left behind will be left. They will be trodden into the Camino by thousands, maybe millions of footsteps, just as you walk now on the sorrows, pains, tragedies left behind by the thousands, maybe millions of pilgrims who have walked before you.
I first walked the Camino Frances 4 years after my diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease. It was on the Meseta, on a very hot day, on our 25 wedding anniversary, that I yelled at God and let my anger loose for giving me this disease. And God yelled back. “Look where you are! Look what you are doing.” And I left the anger there for other Pilgrims to trod so deeply into that soil that it will never return. And God has allowed me to keep walking, and cycling and moving.
Such a range of emotions.
I copied this from someones blog, and I am sorry I don’t remember who to give them credit.
Prepare for the unpreparable-for. You will cry and scream and shout and hate people, things and trees. You will rail against the world, yourself, your shoes and your pack (but never your stick). You’ll be jealous, petty, hungry, thirsty, furious, ecstatic, joyful, silly, sick, stupid, inane and perfect. You’ll be intensely involved with the intricate workings and changes in your own body and you’ll be thrown up against a wide variety of people from all over the world. You’ll essentially be given a crash course in what it means to be human. Enjoy the hell out of it.
You can’t be prepared for everything. But you can be open. Keep and leave. Give, and be willing to receive.