Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Contrary Way Day 16 Lessons from the Labyrinth

The Contrary Way Day 16 Lessons from the Labyrinth

Walking while writing. Writing while walking. I love this new art form I've created though I realize now how difficult it is to read my walking writing.

It's around 9:30am. I walk with the sun in my face. I become cautious when a small white van slows down as it passes me. I ease up and pause. The van stops and then backs up. The driver's door opens and a woman gets out. "Is that you, Sue?" I have no idea who the person is. "Yes, it's me." She steps closer but I still don't recognize her. "It's Kim, from Florida." We had spoken on the phone just before she left to do her Camino. She had just read a blog written by a person who wrote about meeting me on the Contrary path a few days ago. She threw her arms around me, gave me a huge pilgrim hug and invited me to stay at a private refugio she was volunteering at called The Peaceable Kingdom run by a couple, Patrick and Rebekah whom I had met years ago at a pilgrims conference. After giving me simple directions to the place in the village of Moratino I promised to stop there and we parted .

Many pilgrims walked past me that morning. Very shortly I came upon a Korean woman named Soona (Sue-na) who said she was walking to find strength in her heart. How special is that? Later I met a woman named Claudia who claimed that people "listen" differently on the Camino than at home. They are more compassionate and understanding. One of my ongoing intentions is to be a pilgrim in life. Soon another man stops to talk and when he discovers my name, he calls me, Zu. He tells me he is learning Sanskrit. Everyday he practices speaking the words for one hour while he walks. Another form of walking creativity. He's very clear that he never wants to walk the reverse way and offers to pray for me. I need all the prayers I can get.

By noon, I arrive at Moratinos. Patrick was there to greet me and showed me the way in. They had 4 dogs and a lovely Spanish style house with a garden. Kim came downstairs and offered another hug. We talked and walked. We went to town and ate fresh baked pasteries and Cafe con Leche. The idea of being on a Labyrinth came up. For me it's like a mini-Camino I can access when I'm at home. One walks into the centre on a journey and then back out again. On the return, you retrace the steps taken on the way inward. Not unlike what I was doing retracing the steps I took in 2001 walking from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago. My writing partner Bruce Pirrie used to always say about writing that the end is in the beginning.

I slept like a baby that night. The next morning Kim and I walked to a local Labyrinth that was made of stones on the edge of the Camino path. Before entering, we did a ceremony honouring the Creator and we smudged each other with the Buffalo Sage I carried. A very moving experience. Along with the sage, my friend Sherry also gave me a small white shell that was meant to be left on the Camino path somewhere. I was quite fond of it and really didn't want to give it away. I took it out of the deerskin pouch and carried it with me. After requesting requested permission to enter the labyrinth, I repeated my intentions. I am open. I am grateful. I am accepting of the guidance I receive on this journey back home...I felt a knot in my stomach arise. My physical body was telling me what I was still resisting letting go. I wanted some level of control. Ahhhhh. So many lessons. Thank you, Kim.

I walked slowly. Placing each foot down with intention. I opened my heart and my soul to receiving. All sense of time left. I journeyed alone, sometimes brushing my arm as I passed Kim going the opposite way. When I got to the center, the halfway point, I knew I could let go if I just decided to do it. I kissed the little white shell and placed it on the ground with some other stones. The freedom I felt by not attaching myself to the outcome of the shell, to letting go of it and to trusting that this was the perfect place for it was liberating. I walked all the way back, smiling and at peace. I had completed the circle.

Think about an important journey in your life and imagine it as a circle with a beginning and an end. Did you go in one direction and then turn around to end up in the place you started? What did you learn on the way back? What did you avoid on the way there or back? Notice what happens in your physical body when you think about this? Be aware of any sensations. Awareness is the teacher.

Tomorrow is about meeting people on the way.



Love and light,Sue
Author of Canadian best-selling book My Camino presently in development as a feature film.
Facebook My Camino/SuseyaTwitter CaminoPeregrina

1 comment:

  1. Greetings Sue from Ireland. I love your posts as you complete the journey backwards. Well done! It is tough enough going forward! Our little group of five had a marvellous eight days walking between St Jean Pied de Port and Viana. Your notes bring back the marvellous memories of the path. Buen Camino!