(tap-tap) Is this thing on?

I’m back!

Back on terra firma, back in my own home, in my own bed, and feeling so so so grateful for so many things–life, love, and my blessed pillow. The seven-week backwards journey from Finisterre to Saint Jean Pied de Port was wonderful, weird, and full of characters, stories, and insights I’m eager to share.

At the end of my first Camino in 2013, I’d left a piece of myself–like a few spiritual ribs or a soulful femur–out at Fistera’s lighthouse, overlooking the moody Atlantic. For three years, these very real parts of me have sat out on the windswept rocks like a forgotten umbrella, waiting to be reclaimed.

The last time I was there, my life felt split in two, as I faced an immense decision about who I was to be in the world. We all come to this point eventually: Do I keep investing energy in keeping up the act or finally risk being myself? Should I keep playing the role of peacemaker and chameleon, or could I be the authentic, trusting, happy, loving, open person I discovered myself to be as I walked across Spain? I really didn’t know how I could do the latter without upsetting friends, business partners, family. So I set aside a vital, newly-discovered sense of self that windy June day.

On this return, I went back to that very place to reclaim my abandoned parts. I went to become whole again, completely–and then walk with my full, real self back to where I had started in France. Most of all, I walked back across Spain in order to bring this loving, authentic self home–back to my life, my friendships, my work, my family, my marriage. It was finally time.

And this I have done, I’m happy to say.

What a journey! I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Truthfully, I’m a little rusty on the technology front! I seem to have forgotten how to type. It’s been eight weeks since I’ve spent more than ten minutes on social media. In fact, my email account was temporarily suspended halfway through my walk due to “suspicious activity” (it was me, using coin-op computers along the Way). It was a surprising relief to be tech-free for so long.

Anyway, rest assured: my reverse Camino tales, insights, joys, frustrations, and reflections are all on their way… in time. Just like on the Camino.

In the meantime, please know how grateful I am to you. Thank you so much for your comments, thoughts, prayers, love, support, and enthusiasm for this spiritual adventure that is the Camino. Thank you for cheering me on–and in some cases, cheering up my wife, Mary, in my absence. To be held in your mind and heart for so long is a gift to me, and I thank you. I hope your life is unfolding in love and trust.

Sending much love and Camino dust,
Jen

14 thoughts on “(tap-tap) Is this thing on?

  1. I’m so pleased to hear that you are home! I wish I had time to sit and hear all the stories – have thought of you each day wondering where you were and how things were going. Welcome home Pilgrim!

    -Laura

  2. So happy you’re back! You were in my thoughts so often while on your trip. I hope it was everything you were hoping it would be.

  3. Well, what a relief! I thought I was dropped from your blog and even looked up your name on Facebook today. I’m looking forward to reading about your journey. I’ve publicly announced that I will be returning next year, either June or September. I feel called to walk the route that I rushed through (Azofra to Sarria). No buses, except going into Leon. Miss you.

  4. Welcome home Jen! Can’t wait to see you and hear stories about your latest adventure.
    Take care. –Sharon

  5. Well done Jen!!! sometimes it can be as painful to say goodbye to the pseudo self as it is to introduce the new. what a wonderful journey and thank you for sharing.

  6. Jen, you’re back!! I can’t tell you the number of time I’ve thought about you and wondered where you were, if you had to walk in the rain, if you were dancing down the trail, if you were meeting people, if you felt lonely, etc. My eyes lit up when I saw this blog post, and I can’t wait to read more about your journey… oh, I’m so, so curious!! (I leave for my own Europe adventure in a little over a week… France first, then another jaunt on the Camino in late July. Woo hoo!)

  7. Welcome home, Jen!! Can’t wait to read about your latest Camino adventures. And hey — I’m going to be out your way in 2 weeks. After a week of babysitting, let’s get together — say, between the 16th and 21st.

  8. Your assessment of the two selves reconciled reminds me of a repair job I did with epoxy glue last weekend…a bit of A (base) swished in with an equal amount of B (catalyst) creates a strong element for bonding. Interesting that you may have found your catalyst north of Calalonia…hmmm, a tune comes to mind. Welcome back!

  9. Welcome back to the place you call home. I stumbled upon your blog this morning and it touched me in such an authentic heartfelt way. Continue to follow your heart and things will fall into place. As they do.

    Peta

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