some years ago, i worked in a jewellery store. it was after i worked in television, and before hairdressing, in a transition period, when i was contemplating opening my own jewellery store. in this shop, we also sold stones, not just the polished ones that are set in rings and pendants but geodes and big chunks of quartz, citrine, amethyst and the like. the kind of stones you might see at your reiki healer's, if you had a reiki healer.
the store and its stones, sometimes, attracted a pretty earthy/spiritual clientele. one of these clients was a soft-spoken, very gentle and lovely man. the kind of person you'd think was a buddhist monk but was actually a bus driver. also the kind of person who made you wonder how he managed to always stay so grounded, gentle, calm and kind. one day, he came in and we started to talk about books that changed our lives. i'm always interested, for obvious reasons, i guess, in knowing what books have changed people's lives. his was the camino by shirley maclaine.
it would be an exaggertion to say that the camino completely changed my life. it didn't. i had just come out of a life-changing books period of my own, one where my whole insides had been shaken by the power of now and conversations with god. it would have been next to impossible to have shaken me any more than i'd already just been but the book certainly was well worth the read, and it sparked a serious interest in el camino de santiago.
and then, the next thing you know, years went by. as they sometimes do. and i thought about the camino less and less. i knew that i liked the book but i couldn't quite remember why anymore.
and then, all of a sudden, it's this past friday. and my boyfriend and i break up.
and then, it's this past saturday. and i work a half-day and immediately get in the car and drive 3 hours to the place where comfort and an abundance of love can always be found: my parents' house.
i like to listen to the radio on long drives. i make enough musical choices at home/work. it's nice to have a break from picking out something to listen to. on this post-break-up drive to my family haven however, in an annoying one-degree-of-separation way, every single song on the radio can be directly traced back to my boyfriend. "we belong", that mariah carey "always be my baby" song, even "love is a battlefield" for crying out loud. i'd all but had it with the radio when my "seek" button lands on the CBC's the next chapter with shelagh rogers. this week, by some very impressive alignment work from the universe, shelagh, bless her soul, dedicates the latter part of her show to the camino.
and then, for 25 straight minutes, as i listen to different authors talk about their own experiences on the camino de santiago, i do not once think about my break-up or of how much i'm going to miss him or have we made the right decision or how being an adult really sucks sometimes. instead, my mind thinks of spain. as it did when i first read about the camino, however many years ago. it thinks of what it would be like to walk, all day, every day, for a month. and of who might be the right person to go with on such an adventure. and of how i could swing not working for a month.
and that, my friends, brings us to now, and to how "walk the camino" finally finds its way to my non-existant-until-now list of things to do before i die. or maybe even before i turn 40. we'll see. i'll leave that last part up to the universe. it seems to have a way of knowing what's best.
next up on my must-read list: this.