On April 21, 2017 I started walking from the albergue (pilgrim hostel) into the Pyrenees to begin my journey on the Camino De Santiago. I headed out to start 800 km (500 miles) on the most popular part of the Camino, the Camino Frances. I had read for years and prepared myself but for some reason I was terrified for this beginning part of the journey. I had secretly been hoping that it would be snowing so that I might have a reason to skip the Pyrenees. All accounts of the Camino has the first day as the most difficult day. In my mind, there was no way that I could reach the summit. It was too monumental in my mind.
The night before I called people to say I couldn’t do it and they reassured me it was possible. That morning I had sat with other pilgrims vocalizing my fear and only too my first few steps because Michael agreed to go with me. I had assumed that I was doing this alone and yet from the first moments of my journey, I was never alone but surrounded by the community of saints. I started out in my journey, searching for myself. I found myself again, I found love again, and I found God again but on this day four years ago it was all so unsure and fragile.
The pictures above are actually from the next day when I reached the summit. I was so proud of myself and in this moment my entire world shifted. All of a sudden I could do this. I could do hard things. I had just summited the Pyrenees. In this moment, I was gaining pieces of myself again and shedding those places that needed to be shed. I see the sadness in this picture but also a definite shift in who I am. There is a picture from the end of my journey that shows just how much I needed this life saving walk. The pictures are night and day and in the pic of the end of my journey I have returned to myself. Later on, friends and family would see me after the Camino and declare that I had returned. And it would be true.
I am so extremely grateful for April 21, 2017. The journey began that would shift everything into a more healthier and better me. So deeply grateful.
That journey has brought me here to this place to who I am, so much more of who I was created to be.