Three days after my retirement and we are on a plane to Paris. A few hours after we land, we will take a train to St.Jean Pied de Port, the beginning of the Camino—the Camino Frances. After a day of rest there we will begin our trek to Santiago de Compostela.
Right now I’m sitting in a cramped plane, just glad to have an aisle seat. How different things will seem in just a few hours. We have thought about this trip for years and planned it for months, but right now it seems a bit surreal.
I always get nervous when I travel to other places. Will I get lost? Can I make myself understood? Will I miss some important deadline? Will I get sick or hurt?
But part of this trip, especially, is about letting go of control. About not having everything perfectly planned out. About not knowing where we will be each night. About not knowing who we might meet. About not having an extensive choice in what we eat. We may be able to control what is in our backpacks, but we cannot predict or arrange what each day will be like. That is part of what draws me but also part of what scares me.
It is good to do it with Lena. Somehow taking a few risks when I am with the person I love and trust most in the world is just a bit (quite a bit) more doable.
I think I am also still in a bit of shock from the last few days. People of Faith Church (and others) were so kind and generous to me as my ministry there came to a close. So many great conversations and bittersweet goodbyes. I’m not even sure most of it has sunk in. I will have lots to think about as I walk the Camino.