“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." ~ the Queen of Hearts
Yesterday I saw The Way, a movie about four people walking the nearly 500 mile pilgrimage of The Camino de Santiago in Spain.
Tears fell frequently during this movie. Sometimes I cried when I felt the father’s grief, sometimes when a character was subtly raw and revealing, and sometimes when I acknowledged that I want to make this pilgrimage. The tears were because I probably can’t walk 500 miles.
Or could I?
When do we tell ourselves that something is impossible? When are the words, “I can’t” true? What would it take for me to make this pilgrimage? Do I have what it takes?
My husband suggested many other walks throughout Europe that we could consider, walks that aren’t as long. But I dismissed his ideas. Part of the allure of the Camino de Santiago is to walk the same path thousands of other people have walked, to step on the same road as all those other stories. Thousands of hopes, dreams, challenges and joys deposited with each step on the walk. The sacredness of this path is not from the layer of Catholicism draped over the history of this pilgrimage, but from the pilgrims themselves. I want to walk a sacred path.
This morning, on my daily labyrinth walk, I realized that, with each step I take in my labyrinth, I am creating my own sacred path. A pope hasn’t blessed this miniscule corner of the earth, in fact no one but me has said that this is sacred ground. I am making it sacred by walking with intention, honesty and an open heart. I put one foot in front of the other, trusting the way. I don’t always know where I am in the labyrinth; I trust I am where I need to be. The path takes me to the center and back again, allowing me to focus on my meditation.
I don’t know if walking the pilgrimage in Spain is possible, but I do know what is possible. Each morning I can wake up and create a sacred path, a path filled with my own story.