Today was one of those monumental breakthrough days that remind me why I'm doing this. I didn't blog yesterday because there wasn't much to talk about, but there was one thing that happened that is relevant to today's story. Somewhere along the trail, I saw one of the many heart-shaped rocks I've been seeing everywhere since I started the Camino. This one was different, though. It was broken in half. I didn't know why, but I knew I needed to stop at the rock and take a moment. As I stood there, I received a message.
"It's time for what?"
"It's time to open up your broken heart and finish the healing."
Wow. Ok.. And here I thought I'd done all that work and had moved on. It appears there's one thing left to do. Rip off the bandage I've kept so tightly wrapped around it, and expose it. Let it free. Let it heal. Think about that. You know that old saying, "It sticks out like a sore thumb"? That's because when something has been hurt, it seems to attract more hurt on top of hurt. So you keep it bandaged up and protected. But the final little bit of healing doesn't really come until you remove that bandage and let the air get to it. Let nature take its course.
I started out today with that in the back of my mind, but in spite of that, I was fully enjoying my morning. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I just felt good. This was the first day I had some hills to climb ahead, so I was hoping that my heels wouldn't protest too much.
It was a quiet and serene walk through the woods. No traffic. No city noise. Just me and the others making our way up the path. I was definitely taking my time on the hills, stepping very carefully over the loose stones on the path, not wanting to irritate the sore tendons any more than they already were.
I had stopped at a flat spot to take a rest. It was at a crossroads of a sort. A little used country road, really just two dirt-worn tire tracks crossing the path I was on. I noticed that on the other side of the little country lane, there appeared to be a large arrow made out of a collection of stones. Much larger than the one I posted in my blog from a couple of days ago. This one did not want to be missed. It wanted to be sure to guide the way, to help those who might feel a little lost, who needed a little guidance. Someone like me.
After I finished resting, I walked over to take a picture of the arrow, tripping on a stone underfoot. I was a little frustrated until I looked down to find a large, heart-shaped rock at my feet. At that moment I knew exactly what I was supposed to do. I picked up the rock and I carried it over to that large arrow guiding the way, and I placed my heart right in the center of it. And with it, I vowed that I would put my heart into helping others find their way. I don't know how. But the "how's" aren't up to me anyway.
After I had done that, I stood there, of course with more tears running down my face - seems to be a common occurrence for one reason or another these days - and I thought about what I had just promised. And I wondered, "Who am I to vow to help others find their way, when I feel lost most of the time myself?"
The answer, "Who are you not to?"
I feel like I have agreed to something pretty huge, and I don't even know what it is. Sounds a lot like my decision to walk the Camino, doesn't it?
It was only as I turned to continue walking up the hill, when I noticed that the tip of the arrow was pointing at a perfect, unbroken heart. In return for my promise to somehow help others find their way, I will find the way to finish the healing I need to do.