Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

Links to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimages are on the navigation links to the right of the web page.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Camino 2017-9-27 Ebbing and Flowing

The full moon will come in a week, on the day I come into Santiago de Compostela. I thought of that every time I peered at tide pools yesterday.

The walk from Porto to Vila do Conde was beside the Rio Douro (literally the River of Gold, as it carried the treasures from Portuguese colonies) and the Atlantic Ocean. So there were lots of stunning beach and ocean views, with sun and surfers, vacationers and retirees every way the head turned. 

There were also tide pools. And you could see little critters wandering here and there, reacting to the waters around them. They weren't anchored, as the crashing tide could crush them. Instead they floated here and there, peeked out when safe and returning home when not.

As I took a photo of a statue of an angel, pilgrim Janet of Laguna Hills, California introduced herself. We ended up walking about 12 of the 20 miles together. She's delightfully smart, empathetic, and deeply caring for her family. We talked non-stop, which was easy since we are both ENFP on the Meyers Brigg.

During our time, which included lunch at a cafe and dinner after we arrived, she also talked about her discomfort of being on Camino this time. Unlike her past two Caminos, something didn't feel right. And at the 15 mile mark, she decided the sun got the best of her and she'd find a cab.

We did meet for dinner and gabbed for hours. She will be returning home on Friday and cut her trip short. I was disappointed that I couldn't walk with her more, but at least we don't live too far apart

I thought about her decision, during my couple hours walking alone and after dinner.  She's a psychotherapist so is more attuned to probing self than I am. She's doing what's right for her. 

The Camino is a microcosm of life, a pilgrimage into the heart. Sometimes life gets in the way, such as an injury, and you go home. Other times, the Camino itself gets in the way, and staying can be the injury. It takes courage to accept that and go home.

I've wondered about that in myself. Do I know when to pack it up and get away from the rough tides and go to safety? In my first partnership of 18 years, it took a decade to figure that out. Maybe not just figure but also to admit it. Then it took another few years to accept it.

Sometimes I feel like some crayfish. My journey is dependent on the seas around me. I know how to venture out and I know when to retreat. But sometimes, we don't do as well as the crayfish, and we are paralyzed and don't retreat. We don't treat ourselves right.

That's not healthy. The self care has yielded to things like pride, ego, or gluttony. Sometimes we HAVE had our fill. I think Janet is wise to understand herself well and isn't put in the waves for someone other than herself.

My prayer today is the one attributed to Saint Francis. May the ebb and flows of our lives be filled with compassion and empathy not just for others, but for ourselves.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where tyhere is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are brought back to eternal life.

1 comment :

  1. Great learning; nice role model; we ENFP's can find a conversation in just about any place! Like you, I find that so many things come back to ego, which I've been told stands for Edging God Out.