Thank you for being here. As many of you know, it has been a difficult time, with my sister, Marilyn, making her transition last year, and then my son, Luke, a few months ago. This has left me wondering how I can possibly manage this loss, as some days seem unbearable.
In what might be divine timing, I have the unique opportunity to set out on a quest to heal my heart, and to re-discover my joy. I have a niece (my sister's daughter, Kim) who is a guide on the Camino de Santiago pilgim trail in Spain. Her next group of women leaves on October 1 for a twenty-two day Heroine's Journey. There is a space for me, and I have decided to say "yes." We will be walking from Astorga, Spain to Santiago de Compostella - and then on to the sea - to the end of the land, Finisterra.
I don't know what I will find there on that long Road to Santiago. I have fears of flying, leaving the comforts of my Home, my family, my doggie, and what is known. But, the desire for change, to grieve well, to heal my heart, to connect to something deeper within myself that somewhere along the way I feel that I have forgotten, and to possibly find answers to these impossible questions that I have is greater than any fear.
This is the journey that I can't NOT take.
I came across a picture of myself - when I was 'young, wild and free'. I am going to set out, put my feet on the Holy Road and will listen for whispers on the wind of what she wants me to remember about myself.
"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." - John 3:8
* Notice my niece, Kimmie, smiling up at me in that framed picture behind me.
Thank you to each of you for your support during these difficult days. I feel that this quest is the best thing I can do to care for myself, to fill up my empty well so that I can be present and available for my family - my beautiful sons, Noah and Ryan and their families, my grandchildren, my doggie - Oakley, my sweet friends, and ultimately for myself.
Butchie, Marilyn and me, happy in the Florida Keys.
My boys: Noah, Ryan, Luke & beautiful grandchildren.
Oakley and me.
I will post updates every now and then from the Camino trail. Thank you for your encouragement, your support, your friendship, and your love.
My son, Luke.
O mother of the sea
lend me a wave that is strong and true
to carry me from this Age which unbinds me.
I do not need a ship, mother,
but make it a buoyant swell
to beat me up and float me on the sea's dreaming
then beach me on some lighter shore.
When I land there, give me warp and weft again,
an an urchin quill to remind me
how that prettiest barb can lodge under your skin
and leave you undone.
Only lend me a loom and I will
take up the threads of this unravelled life.
I will weave a braid from three strands of seaweed.
I will wind it three times around my finger
I will dig my salt-encrusted hands into the soil
and wed myself to the thirsty brown roots of a new beginning.
- Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted
If you would like to learn more about the journey, you can visit https://www.soulfulroad.com/heroinesjourney/
The funds will go to pay for travel, airfare, expenses and a few provisions for the journey.
( I have included two ways I can exchange for your donation, here on gofundme, they call them 'rewards', but please know that any amount is deeply appreciated.)
Please make sure to include your mailing address if you would like a postcard from the pilgrim trail, and as for the photo sessions - we will touch base before I leave and will schedule our session for my return, so you will have your images in time to make holiday cards and prints.
Thank you from the bottom of my pilgrim heart,
* The scallop shell is the symbol of the pilgrim. Here I am a 'few' years ago (photo by Diana).
- Terry Staffel
- Nancy McCurdy
- Daryl Fischer
- Kathi Bledsoe
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