Monday, July 16, 2007

jiggety jig

Exactly two months ago, I woke up and started walking across the Pyrenees toward the Atlantic Ocean. Every day since then, I have thought about one particular day, one particular walk.

I have anticipated it more than the day I arrived at Jimbo's bones. I have looked forward to it more than I did the day I would swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

I have rehearsed it over and over again in my mind, replaying a loop of how I imagined it would be. Even when I didn't want to think about it, my head would return to it involuntarily. I was excited about it, but I dreaded it, too.

How will it be? Will it go okay? How can I get it just right? What if I get it wrong?

So this morning I climbed out of My Very Own Bed for the first time in a couple of months, and I went out for a walk starting from my home.

A lot of things were different. I didn't have a 18 pound pack. I carried different essentials--a wallet, a cell phone, keys, and an ipod--none of which I had with me on the Camino. There weren't any yellow arrows, but there was a path and sidewalks safe from cars. There were people walking and bicycling in the other direction, and even though no one said "Buen Camino," lots of people smiled.

Some things were very much the same, though.

My body was happy to walk. It was hot and miserable, and I still felt glad to be out and moving.

After an hour or so, I arrived at a little coffee shop, the Java Shack. Some of you know that I take caffeinated communion here more often than some evangelicals crack the New Testament. There was an assortment of people scattered about at the tables outside, and I heard someone call out "How was it?!" I looked over and saw a woman I recognized. I couldn't remember her name, but it didn't matter. She remembered me, and I remembered her.

Soon there were more familiar faces around welcoming me back, asking me about my trip. I sort of know these people, but not really. Sometimes I know about their families or their jobs. Sometimes I know their opinion of the latest political scandal. Sometimes I only know what kind of bagel they eat. Some of the people I talk to are in pre-school. Others are retired. Their professions vary widely. Some dress in suits. Some wear exercise clothes. Most people feel free to talk to each other. Today, the conversation shifted from the Camino to mulletts to quitting smoking to Prague to government. Several people joined the conversation, the table. Others left to continue on their journey.

It was just like the Camino, except it was home.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Welcome back to the shire, Bridget!