Living in Queensland again is strange. I had forgotten how beautiful the jacaranda trees are with their plumage of bright purple flowers, forgotten the noisy birds, the beautiful tree lined streets of suburbia, and how vibrant the restaurants are along the river.
Fairy lights sparkle in all the trees and the canopy of the bougainvillea covered archway at Southbank is so colourful. I love the outdoor life here and the people are relaxed and friendly.
I wake each morning to the familiar birdsong of kookaburras, magpies and butcher birds. There are wallabies in the back yard.
Who was that person sitting behind a desk, working long hours and coping with stress beyond belief? I no longer associate with or recognize her.
The Camino life has led to some wonderful experiences, love and deep friendships. I am so grateful for all it has given and taught me. Who would have thought a walk in the countryside would provide such riches and self worth?!
Today, my new Italian Camino friend Emilio and I sat by the river in the shade and talked. We drank wine and talked as if we had known each other all our lives. Such is the Camino bond. The old me would never have done that – I was so shy
And I suddenly realized that the introvert has gone! I now talk to anyone and everyone, and I don’t care anymore what people think of me. It’s so liberating. My new confidence is opening doors and I’ve been meeting such interesting people. Why has it taken me this long to shed the introvert?
I’ve had many conversations recently that have set me thinking about the camino. Why and how does it have the power to change people so much? It’s just a “walk”, often a really long one, but there is an intangible spirit there that touches us all and puts a spell on us. It shows us what freedom is, what living in the moment can be like, how little we actually need in our lives, and teaches us patience and compassion. Talk to anyone who has walked a Camino and you will hear that they have changed somehow. Isn’t it strange that such a simple thing like a walk can alter our lives and wake us up to what is important.
I’m living out of a suitcase as my other clothes are still in storage, but I am a pilgrim. I have all I need. It’s lovely to spend time with my kids again too. Its time to rest, put things in perspective and re adjust. But…
My feet are restless and I’m missing life in Santiago. I’ve been looking at photos, talking with Camino friends, and I want so badly to go walking in Spain again. I will return next year to do it all again but for now I I’m just relishing time at home back in Australia. It will always be “home”. 💜