It has been 3 months home since completing the Camino Portugues in late May. We returned to Europe in July for a niece’s wedding and some vacationing. Europe’s rich culture and heritage is such a joy to experience.
The beauty of the Camino experience was the simplicity of life on the Camino. One woke up in the morning, washed up, had breakfast, packed and started walking to the next destination. There was no cable news to catch up, no necessity to check social media. This simplicity was brought home again in several dialogs in the movie, ‘Christopher Robin’.
Winnie The Pooh: Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.
This dialog captures what happens on the Camino. Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something. That best kind of something is how you will live life. We don’t have to wait for a Camino, but a weekend, a day off in the work week, can lead to that best kind of something, right?
Winnie The Pooh: I must go forward where I have never been instead of backwards where I have
It seems to me that this speaks of the risks of reminiscing about the Camino. Calvin and Hobbs don’t spend time re-living past adventures, but are off to the next great adventure. Memories can hobble one, or can be jumping boards.
Winnie the Pooh: Christopher Robin, what day is it?
Christopher Robin: It’s today.
Winnie the Pooh: Oh, my favorite day.
Christopher Robin: Mine too, Pooh. Mine too.
I loved this. Truth hits you in the face, doesn’t it? There’s no need to gloss, varnish or decorate it. Suffice, to say, today is ours. Even now, I relish this time, writing this post to reflect so I can put my foot forward.
Minimalizing drums into us, step by step, when we carried our backpacks along the Camino. Any new item that was to be carried had to be of value for the journey, and thus, food and drinks easily passed the test. Not so for other items. It became an attitude, a mind set that we could do without. How did we nurture this when returning to city life with non-stop advertisements? We decided that we will use credit cards only when required, e.g. at gas stations, membership warehouses and the rare occasions for Internet purchases. It’s funny but paying cash as a primary method became ‘fun’ again. Somehow, the brain gets lulled back to childhood days, when one weighed multiple times the value/benefits (opportunity costs?) before handing over the cash. This psychological impact creates a virtuous cycle, using cash lessens the urge to buy un-necessarily. It definitely reduces impulse buying if one limits buying with available cash in one’s wallet. Obviously, side stepping Prime Day, Black Friday, Sales Day becomes a dance move to be practiced. And perfected!
On the spiritual front, I have stepped up my reading, coming across a number of titles that have truly touched me deeply. They are:
- Into your hands, Father by Wilfrid Stinissen
- A testament of devotion by Thomas Kelly
- A man of grace and grit, Paul by Charles R Swindoll
I intend to gift the first book to close friends of the faith. Praying together is one of our favorite couple activity, though I will not share why we occasionally laugh together during those occasions!
For some, recording their innermost thoughts is prayer. It unleashes powers conscious and unconscious, powers that heal, insights that beget wisdom.
We continue our walks, relishing the beauty of nature. We communicate at a deeper level. We share at a deeper level. We live more deeply.
Finally, being at peace begins to fill the moments in the day. Feeling peace inside is truly becoming child-like.
God’s blessings on you and your loved ones.