According to Elizabeth Gilbert (in her book “Big Magic”) ideas travel through human consciousness looking for able bodies and souls to bring them to life. If you’re not in the mood or don’t feel ready, no big deal, ideas will keep moving from person to person until they find their perfect hosts. Considering the number of ideas I’ve said no to over the years and which have sprouted anyway out of someone else’s imagination, I tend to agree with Ms. Gilbert’s theory.
There’s one idea, though, that’s been wooing me for a couple of months now and which I’m of a mind to say yes to:
Over thirty years ago my parents, brother, and I drove from Brussels, Belgium, to Santiago de Compostella, Spain, following the path of the Camino Frances, or the French Way, the most popular route of the ancient pilgrimage to the alleged burial site of St James. We stopped in all the necessary places and attended mass but my main epiphany on this so-called family pilgrimage was that I liked churros dipped in hot chocolate better than Belgian waffles.
Today, despite a spiritual readiness to look for new meaning and purpose, physical limitations prevent me from walking this 500 mile trek through northern Spain. Crossing the Pyrenees on foot may no longer be an option but nothing stops me from partaking in the spirit of the path and gleaning insights from my ordinary days right here right now. Instead of guide books and clean socks I can pack a good dose of awareness and some spare willingness to change. I can do a Camino in situ in the comfort or discomfort of my own heart with commitment and excitement acting as divine energy bars.
I want to experience life at an ever deeper level, feeling fully present and vibrant. I wish to explore whatever appears on my path and use it as fuel to expand into all I can be. I have no idea where this stationary journey will take me. My only intention is to remain open to what shows up and to allow it to bloom me where I am rooted. That is after all what a pilgrimage is for.
At first I thought to keep this project all hush hush, taking notes, journaling, and publishing later. But the truth is, I’m not one for solitary treks. I’d much rather share my process with a few or many friendly readers. So I invite you to follow me along the route of the Camino Frances from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago, at a slow pace of 40 blog posts or so, putting one virtual foot in front of the other and forging ahead no matter the fog or writer’s block.
Let’s go on a spiritual adventure together, right in the heart of home.
“We don’t need more gimmicks and gadgets; all we need do is REIMAGINE the way we travel.” – Phil Cousineau
Words and photograph – Maryse Godet Copans © 2017