I fly to Paris in less than 3 weeks. From there I travel by train to Bayonne and on to St. Jean Pied de Port, where my Camino begins on Sept. 27. So, you had better believe I’m up to my eyeballs in preparation. Actually, it is emotional eyeballs as much, or more than physical eyeballs. I fret over exactly what to pack, how to stay light weight but have enough of what I really need. What do I really need? What can be left behind? Will my flight be a smooth one? Will it be on time? Will I have trouble meeting up with Susan in Paris? Am I in good enough shape physically to attempt this? I don’t like being wet and cold, but I’ll bet there will be times when I will be… Will we actually complete the Camino in the time we have allotted?
You get the picture, huh?
I thought about it the other night before sleeping. When I leave for the Camino, these 6 or so weeks will be the longest separation from my husband in 38 years. I have moved several times, but I’ve never, in my life, just taken off on a 6 week trip. I believe that if it were up to my mother and my daughter, I might not be allowed to go. I look forward to something that suspect will be part religious pilgrimage and part pure adventure. I can’t tell you (or myself) exactly why I want to go, only that I know it is time and I am called to go. It’s almost “I must go.”
There is a song we sing at church: Companions on the Journey. I’m sure I will meet many new companions on this journey. But, I also will take with me reminders of companions that won’t be walking with me. I have Pheza’s hydration pack in my backpack. Lucy let me use a walking stick. Jeremy loaned me a SIM card for the phone I’ll be taking. Much of my gear was bought with an REI gift certificate that my children gave me for my birthday. I have a good hat and a good rain jacket because JP couldn’t rest until he knew I had them (and a sleeping bag, a well-fitted backpack, etc).
And so, there is the balance: what to leave behind, what will come along because it is chosen, what comes along because it is a part of my very being. I wonder what the balance will look like when I return. That will be interesting.