because sometimes I miss the subtle reminders.

I read Paolo Coelho’s The Pilgrimage right after I read The Alchemist. The novel follows the journey across the Camino de Santiago. I finished the book in one day, and I said  then that I was going to have to do it someday.

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage to the burial site of St. James. I think somewhere inside of me I’ve always known that I would do some sort of pilgrimage. There’s something about communing with one’s soul that I just know is a big part of who I am.

At any rate, life goes. And two years later, I haven’t thought much about the book or my initial desire to walk across the northern coast of Spain. Until Coelho’s books went on sale for $.99 on digital readers, and I bought another copy of the book. The reading was a gentle reminder of the desire, but it still seemed like something for “some day.”

Then, Friday night I became entranced by the Discovery Channel’s Out of the Wild. On the show, a group of nine people are left to find their way out of a remote Venezuelan area. It was an epic journey–one that I have zero desire to take. The funny thing is that as a result of watching that on Netflix, the movie The Way came up as a suggested film.

So, I watched that last night, and I think I’ve pretty much decided. So, the goal is one year from now.

I’ve been thinking a lot about setting new goals lately. I finished a draft of a second book, ran a half marathon, made it on a train trip to Vancouver…pretty much knocked everything off the list.

Some of the new ones are very obvious: rewrites are in order. But I need something physical. And I need something spiritual. I think working toward this is perfect. I really want the journey to be the end of a journey not a desperate run away to find something–myself, presumably. I want it to be a celebration of process–physical, mental and emotional. And while I know that I could do it when I’m older as many people do, I think I want to do it while it will be as easy as physically possible.

So, there we go. Or, there I go. Just putting it out there to hold myself accountable.

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a sign?

The first time I ever received a “sign”–so to speak–from a greater Power, I was on retreat in Northern California. I had, at that point, spent three days without speaking. And I heard the message so loudly that it terrified me, and I asked if I could go home.

Oddly enough, that’s exactly how I feel now except that I am sitting in my home. And, I have learned to learn instead of to fear.

So here goes….

When I read “The Valkyries,” I looked up Borrego Springs and on a website for one of the hotels out there, I saw an advertisement for a special package to watch meteor showers in August. I am still thinking about going, but I am also thinking about sending a friend as a gift. Either way, this evening I wanted to look it up again to see pricing and the exact date.

I have spent the afternoon reading “The Pilgrimage” also by Coelho. And in this book he makes his way across Spain following the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago). I am about half way through the book and only put it down so I could eat. It has reminded me of this friend in a very interesting way so I remembered that I wanted to look up this hotel again so I could give dates and offer the gift of the trip.

At any rate, I sat down at the computer and typed “Borrego Springs” into the Google search bar (you can see it in the top right of this picture). Oddly, I did not get a Google results page at all. I didn’t even get anything that had to do with Borrego Springs. What popped up was a Wikipedia page about “The Way of St. James.” And suddenly, that feeling I had on a mountainside on a retreat returned so quickly. There was no way.

Just no way.

No way that the computer could accidentally link the two. No way that I could have mis-typed. I have done a screen capture to show that it occurred exactly as I have said.

Suffice it to say, I have spent the past half hour researching the Way of St. James. And I am almost certain that at some point in my life, I will walk it.

A sign, indeed.