Coming Home

June 26th, 2015


There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. ~Louis L’Amour

Coming home after a pilgrimage, retreat, or any other formative experience is often an unusually open and vulnerable time. A second threshold needs to be crossed after traveling afar, a mindful pause taken before stepping back into my life. If I rush this process, or don’t allow time and space for it, I may miss the subtle shifts and transformations that occurred while away. Just as I took care in packing my bags before embarking on my adventure, I needed to give attention to unpacking, not only my luggage but also my experiences and encounters while away. Once home it seemed silly to take this time yet I knew making space for re-entry would be worthwhile. Luckily, I planned ahead and scheduled a few days in the mountains to decompress and let my experiences sink in. Like a bookend to the journey, this “threshold space” gave a sense of completion to my travels and a glimmer of how the pilgrimage might become a new thread woven into my life.

One of my days was spent walking for several hours and I immediately felt connected to the Camino again. I suppose walking was my attempt to have the pilgrimage continue, even if I was now across the Atlantic Ocean on a different continent and in a different country. I also spent time journaling, looking through photos, but mostly remembering the openness I felt while walking and listening for the lessons I wanted to hold onto. Traveling often plants seeds of inspiration in my heart and mind and walking through Portugal and Spain was no exception. I desperately wanted these new seeds to take hold, but I knew it would take some tending on my part. It’s so easy to have a memorable event take center stage for awhile only to fade away over time, tucked into the recesses of my mind like a dusty old photo album stacked on a shelf.

My Camino walk, however, seemed to be the beginning of something new, a creative energy that felt both grounding and expansive. The questions I asked my self while “unpacking” my extended walk were these, “What did I receive from my travels? What did I let go of? How has it changed me? What have I learned about myself that I didn’t know before? How am I invited to grow?” I continue to ask myself these questions and others too, Writing about my experiences and taking long walks are other ways I tend the seed of change planted in my being. I don’t always have answers to the questions, and sometimes the answers change over time, but just considering them keeps the pilgrimage alive for me. Without the second threshold, a transition space, I’m not sure I’d even ask the questions.

Question: What new seeds of change are you tending?

No Responses to “Coming Home”

  1. There are currently no comments on this entry, want to be the first? Use the form on the right.

You must be logged in to post a comment.