Tag Archive | Heart

El Camino

foxgloveRecently I went to the movies to watch “Walking the Camino”. It was the penultimate screening and we had the theatre almost entirely to ourselves. This is how I like it, the dark, the quietening of the breath and the unfolding of the story. As I listened to the stories of the half dozen people (out of many) who were sharing their experience, I was waiting to feel the yearning rise up within me to follow in their footsteps. The idea of travelling light; letting go and confronting change on a daily basis all hold much allure. The transformative experiences abounded and were shared with depth and humility.

Searches for the meaning of life, a new better way to be sat alongside the yearning to connect. One young woman bought her small son and her brother. Her dream; that her brother would grow to understand her Christian values and they would become closer. Loss was also present in the stories of those who had died and were still being grieved. All of the stories continued to unfold along with the road and the vista beckoning the pilgrim onward.

The stories were heart warming. Yet, throughout the whole movie the most powerful player was Nature herself.  In sun and rain the natural world stood out; the bedewed blades of grass; leaves lime green in their newness. Heather, in thick rich banks adorned the roadside,    urging me to reach out and run my hands through it.

I know I would never survive the walk; the shared sleeping dormitories alone would be the end of me. I am a light sleeper and often only manage 4-5 hours a night – in the quietest of spaces. I am not physically able to walk the 790kms, my body would teach me a lesson in humility never to be forgotten. Such beauty along the Way, I would love to experience that; I’d take the chance to immerse myself in it wherever it appeared.

It was almost at the end of the movie; the young women had fallen out with her brother. He had misbehaved – his Pan-ness had offended her values. He wasn’t taking it at all seriously and so she drove him away, thereby negating her original desire for connection.  Poor thing, she was trying so hard to be a good/godly pilgrim. He didn’t seem concerned at all. It seemed to me that he was inherently panentheistic and she was – a fundamentalist!

His lightness of spirit captured me and spoke to the mood that had overtaken me as I drank in the scenery. Right then the camera followed the curving stem of a foxglove, honouring each individual flower. From somewhere deep inside me powerful emotion welled up; the thought “I bow before you” sprang into my mind and my heart opened. For me, all the joy of the Camino was represented in that one sinuous curve.

I know that I walk my own inner Camino every day. The Nature mystic in me takes me on many varied and challenging paths. I hope I walk them in humility; staying connected to all the glory of the natural world, grounding myself in Her.

There is always a gift along the road. A dappled glade, a glorious sunset, a field of wheat moving in a gentle breeze. All these expressions of the Divine enliven me and fill me up so that, just like a pilgrim who reaches Finisterre I am filled with joy and deep peace.


Special Delivery

I catch you out the corner of my eye
a gently fluttering leaf,
Sunlight captured in perfect oval,
rainbow-sparkling you blink
a Morse code message angel-delivered
“I love you”
“I love you”


Starry eyed joy, a Sisyrinchium occupation.

I’ve spent a bit of time over the last two weeks staring out at the view through my french doors. I’ve felt irritated. My body, host to an eclectic blend of bacteria and viruses has kept me housebound  so each time I looked out I’d notice how long the grass had gotten.  Grass –  not lawn you understand – an untidy mix of weeds competing with whatever grassy plants were robust enough to survive.  I desperately wanted them gone; mown, slashed, whatever it took.

Today I felt well enough to go out and reconnect with all the glorious growth that had continued in my absence. I needed to check up as well, we’ve had a good week of Spring rain and some of my beauties don’t appreciate its effect on their countenance. There’s nothing sadder than the blighting of a souvenir de la Malmaison rose after prolonged rain.  So I wandered – pleased to see that apart from some very furry strawberries the garden had weathered the rain pretty well. There were lots of roses and Hemerocallis flowering, their perfumes accompanied me as I wandered. Further down in my wild area I found some new bracken shoots, their tightly clenched velvet fists waving in the breeze. I couldn’t help having to stop and treat myself to a velvet caress. Plenty was running amok, however; I dodged an over-vigourous clump of nettles and contemplated the lawn mower again.  I wandered on, in the full knowledge I wasn’t up to pushing it. I pushed aside a wave of frustration instead and walked on. Then something magical happened – thoughts of lawn mowing were banished from my mind as I saw spread like sapphire confetti the starry blue eyes of Sisyrinchium staring up at me from between the blades of grass. Everywhere  walked now was speckled with these tiny blue flowers; my heart swelled and my body was flooded with gratitude. My previous thoughts of lawn mowing were instantly transformed as I imagined ways to maintain the starry display for as long  as possible. How, I wondered, had these little creatures managed to gain such strength of numbers? I am constantly amazed at these quiet miracles that occur; in the garden.  A blue wave of joy, a gentle occupation warming hearts and enticing bees. A simple pleasure , deeply rewarding.