I apologize if this sounds gushy but I’m not writing it for you. It is my diary. You just happen to be reading it.
I’m sitting in a hotel room full of apprehension about going home. I board the plane in few hours time and I’m so sad. I had not expected to be so emotional, and until now, I really hadn’t appreciated or understood the look of longing and deep emotion in the eyes of those I know who have walked the Camino. The Camino spirit is overwhelming and I am sitting here crying and I don’t know why.
I’m an introvert, yet I wasn’t really so on the Camino. It has left me wondering who I really am. I’ve just turned 60, I’m a mother, a grandmother and I work full time in a job I love, and I really love my life back at home, yet I have discovered a part of me that has been dormant for so many years as I struggled through life trying to do the right thing and live ‘normally’ in society. I have changed. Or rather, I have found myself again. But how can I hang on to this when I get home?
I know that everyone feels this when they walk the Camino, but no one voices it. We talk to each other in a different way. We have a deep understanding of something beyond our regular lives. I feel that EVERYONE should walk the Camino, step out of daily life, and just BE. it is a wonderful feeling to get up at dawn, put everything you need on your back and spend the day walking in the fresh air, listening to the frogs croaking, the little birds tweeting and the cuckoos in the distant pine trees. Nothing matters! Yes, I got homesick when I reached the gum trees, very homesick, because I smelled Australia….home. I feel so lucky to be Australian. But, aside from moments like this, home is strangely non existent when you are walking across Spain. There is nothing in your head. It empties. I can only describe it as a sense of complete peace and freedom.
Tom jokingly calls me a hippy, and yes, I probably am. Now I feel like a gypsy. I cannot wait to walk the Camino again. I never though I would say that, and I’m already making plans. It feels wrong to have nowhere to walk to today. I miss it! I love the Camino community and the people that live along the Way. Each day brought new experiences, new friendships and so much joy. To all my new friends, I thank you for your love and laughter, your compassion, kindess and care. It is a bond that will not be broken and I love you all.
My son James wrote that what I was feeling was ‘freedom’….how right he was!