There was a time when I realized that all the books I was reading — fiction or memoir — were about people on a journey. I suppose most stories are about journeys, literal or figurative, physical, spiritual or emotional. But these were obviously about a physical journey that also enabled emotional and spiritual exploration.
Inspired by the Martin Sheen film “The Way,” I have often dreamt of taking the pilgrimage of “El Camino de Santiago.” In fact, in my research I have learned there is a Caminho Portugués. This sounds appealing to me on so many levels. The road from Lisbon to Santiago can take just over a month.
I’m so curious about what happens when you walk, day after day, for a month. Where does your mind and your heart go? Aside from the obvious physical challenge, what are the emotional and spiritual challenges you encounter? Are you better doing it with someone or alone? What kind of person would make a good companion for such an undertaking?
For now I am taking another journey, an interior one. Perhaps I can use this time to prepare myself — physically, emotionally and spiritually — for the actual Caminho.
For now, though, I have no roadmap. No pre-determined destination. No timeline. I just follow whatever markers seem interesting, whatever catches my eye or inspires my imagination. I’ve run into some dead ends, and I have to back track. But I continue to move, to discover, and to be open to what comes along.