I leave in exactly one week to begin a Pilgrimage. After two decades of growing a kid, creating a farm and building a business, I feel an impending sense of returning. Returning to who I am, untethered by all the earthly things that have shaped my life these last years and answering the incessant wanderlust that seems to always be playing in the background of my life. I’ll be walking the Camino de Santiago– almost 200 miles up the coast of Portugal into Spain- along the Way of Saint James.
This last month, I’ve been intentionally setting aside obligations and ambitions so that I can soak in my farm and family. I am resisting the urge to “prepare” and “train” (other than cleaning a few paddocks with my pack on!:) and am instead, spending extra time with my animals and contemplating the Threshold I am already starting to cross. I’ve spent the last year purging, cleaning and updating my home. Coulter has graduated from high school and is “launched” (for now!) I feel I can leave in peace.
I also feel fear. Fear that my “Inner Critic” thinks is unjustified. I was a Peace Corps volunteer. I’ve traveled alone in Viet Nam, trekked in Nepal, run marathons, climbed mountains, started young horses, made speeches in front of hundreds of people, and done plenty of other “things” in the past that my Inner Critic thinks should inoculate me from feeling fear in the present.
I’m afraid my body won’t keep up with my spirit on the path. I’m afraid of spending hours and hours alone with my own thoughts and what may rise to the surface. I’m afraid I’ll lose something un-nameable by not working for a month. I’m afraid to leave my animals and that my fourteen-year-old dog may not be here when I come back. I’m afraid of losing ground on my journey with my young horse. I’m afraid about money. I’m afraid my mad scientist husband will become more of a mad scientist while I’m gone. I’m afraid my plane will crash or I’ll lose my passport.
And yet, of course, the adventure, the excitement and the possibilities ahead are much bigger than all these fears. In fact, I’m realizing as I write this, that the fears are what make it an adventure. They are what will shape any transformation that lies ahead. They are, in fact, fuel for the dream. So, this next week I will keep setting aside obligations and ambitions as I pack just what I need. I will soak in each moment of THIS LIFE and embrace my fears as fuel for what’s coming up next!
~ et Suseia! (onwards & upwards!)