Walking into the Unknown
Where did it start?
As most excellent adventures in life do.
The Camino de Santiago.
It was calling me. And 2023 was the year.
When sharing this with my oldest daughter, she exclaimed that she and some teacher friends recently had talked about walking the Camino over their summer break. Wouldn’t it be great to walk together?
It would be! Except… I was being guided to walk the Camino Portugues (western route) and they were making plans to walk the Camino Frances (northern route).
From what I can tell, the Camino, by nature of being a pilgrim route, doesn’t have a lot of structure. Yet, a couple guidelines appear with some regularity:
Walk your Camino.
The Camino will provide.
This pilgrimage is an exercise in both autonomy and trust from the earliest stages of being called to it. It seems I had already begun walking this path.
As much as I would love to share this experience with my daughter, I found myself saying, “That’s great! But I’m really clear that the Portugues route is the one for me so let’s plan to meet up in Santiago as we complete our pilgrimages.”
My daughter called a few weeks later. “I’m really feeling the Portugal route, too. Can I join you?” “Of course.”
Walking into the unknown is something that often arrives on our doorstep uninvited – and also is something we can intentionally choose to create more space for transformation.
In the words of Richard Rohr:
“Liminal space is an inner state and sometimes an outer situation where we can begin to think and act in new ways. It is where we are betwixt and between, in transition, having left one room or stage of life but not yet entered the next. We usually enter liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed—perhaps when we lose a job or a loved one, during illness, at the birth of a child, or a major relocation. It is a graced time, but often does not feel ‘graced’ in any way. In such space, we are not certain or in control. The very vulnerability and openness of liminal space allows room for something genuinely new to happen. We are empty and receptive—blank tablets waiting for new words. Liminal space is where we are most teachable, often because we are most humbled…. It is in these transitional moments of our lives that authentic transformation can happen. Otherwise, it is just business as usual and an eternally boring, status quo existence.”
As I prepare to step into the unknown, it’s been interesting as certain “knowings” drop into this phase of Camino preparation. One is this walking mantra: “Every step is a prayer for peace.”
Through both times of ease and through the hardest of moments, when the physical and emotional cost of each step is high, I envision myself marking each step with this word: Peace. Peace within – peace with others – peace in our world. Peace.
The final knowing I will share at this time is that I am to detach from the internet to more fully immerse myself in this experience. This means that I will catch you later this summer on the other side.
Until then… peace.