I had not thought about the Camino since 2013. But one day I was watching a show called “Belief”, they were showing the different ways people try reconnecting with their faith or what they do to find their purpose in life. This episode showed an older gentleman walking The Camino; he stated he had lost his faith through the years. He was always too busy making sure his family had what they needed, but in the process, he lost the meaning behind what family and faith were really all about. So, I was glued to the TV, I saw him travel across the Camino, remember, I had heard about it in 2013 but I didn’t really have a clue of what it consisted of. I saw his struggle to complete the journey, his journey was the entire Camino, which consists of more than 500 miles, it takes around 30 days to finish. I was very attentive to his journey, but when he got to Santiago and entered the Cathedral, it showed the Botamufeiro, the censer “swung” and the smoke filled the air, tears began to flow down my face, I felt chills through my body, that’s when I knew that I was being called to walk my own Camino. The Botamufeiro! You are probably asking yourself what this is. The definition of this would be: (Censer) a container, usually covered, in which incense is burned, especially during religious services. I will share a little history behind this beautiful censer! Botamufeiro was previously used as a “cover” for all the “stinky” pilgrims arriving at Santiago de Compostela after their long journeys; it was believed that incense smoke worked against plagues and epidemics. But for me and so many others incense burning has been an important part of liturgy, it takes our prayers up to God. Why do I believe this was the moment of my calling? Because the moment I saw the Botamufeiro on TV, I felt His Spirit go through my entire body, and to this day, I see it on videos or movies and I have the same reaction every single time. The man’s story resonated with me, I had made myself so busy that I lost what “living” was all about, I was so focused on making sure my family was taken care of, that Cecy was lost in the process. Actually, Cecy was lost years ago. I’ve been on this journey to find myself for a long time but guilt kept getting in the way and just when I thought I was releasing that guilt, it would show it horrible face again and I would manage to take a million steps backwards instead of forward. This was the beginning of my journey to Santiago.
After that show back in September 2015, the deep research began. It absorbed my mind and my heart, even looking at a plane flying out of the airport would send tears rolling down my face. Right now my life revolves around the planning, when I am going, where I am staying, what gear I needed… This is something I have NEVER done, I have never gone hiking anywhere, but I’m up for this challenge and hoping to find some internal clarity as to where I’m going now, this quest for clarity is taking me overseas into the unknown and by myself. Some call me crazy, well maybe a little.
Exploring the Camino has brought me to unearth some feelings and memories that I should have let go of so long ago. It is allowing me to move forward with my plans even if others might not think it’s a good idea or just feel that I am just not up to doing something like this. I respect their opinions, although some words may actually hurt, I respect what other have to say, but I just feel this is calling me. I was going to be joined on the journey by my Goddaughter but her plans changed and I think that this just meant that I needed to do this alone this time. I have a fear of doing things alone, of going places alone, but with this Walk I am facing this huge giant that has been hovering over me for years, I plan on leaving parts of this giant along the Camino de Santiago and leave any remaining shadow of that giant at the foot of the Santiago Cathedral.
In planning for the Camino and working on my daily morning pages (which will be another post haha) I have seen “little” changes going on. I am finally cutting ties with people that I should’ve cut ties with a LONG time ago, my heart kept holding on to hope where there was none. One will not even notice that I don’t try and contact him anymore; the other will just have to understand that our time came and went years ago and I don’t plan of taking any more steps backwards in this lifetime…
Along this journey I have encountered others that are searching for purpose and meaning in their lives, I’ve heard us being called the “seekers”. My “seeking” has led me to read other’s journey’s and has given me the inspiration to share my own. Maybe your “seeking” has led you to my journey. Is the Camino knocking on your heart, are you feeling the call? Maybe you have already done your Camino and are just looking for others that share your similar path? As spiritual seekers we all know the Camino is not the only way to find our purpose, I hope you will share your insights and what you have done on your own journey to find YOUR meaning! Don’t forget to leave your comments, I look forward to hearing about your own search!!