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  • Finnian Kelly


The last stretch of the Camino is said to be the spiritual portion, where you will have your moments of enlightenment and pure bliss, and where everything makes sense. This has been a beautiful stretch of the trail, with mossy forests that feel enchanting and the moody weather of the region of Galicia - winds whipping, big fluffy clouds and while the weather report can not be predicted, it guarantees rain. I had an exciting Camino moment of finding another one of Finn’s trees in a very Narnia like path! 

My last post was all about choosing to be happy, and being present with whatever emotion in a state of allowance and appreciation for the feeling. Well this sounds ideal in theory, it's not always so smooth in practice, which is why it's called practice! Over the last 24 hours I have been experiencing feelings of apathy, irritability and disorientation and have had to practice being in a state of acceptance for whatever shows up. I’m being challenged by an influx of people that join the Camino for the last 100km. I had been warned of this, but there is nothing to prepare you for going from the quiet expanse of the forested trails to being flooded with busloads of people. I have gone...

There is a self-admitted righteousness for those of us that have been walking the trail since France (and some even further). We carry our own bags, we walk even when it rains and we respect the Camino etiquette of maintaining a respectable trail distance. My peaceful ambiance has been invaded by a group of high schoolers competing for the loudest burp, slapping each other on the ass and playing music at full volume on their phones. I can’t seem to shake this group, no matter what pace or time of day I’m walking. While confronting these difficult feelings and trail annoyances, I encountered one of the best surprise stands of the whole Camino, the ‘Happiness Cafe’ - what a serendipitous reminder of my happiness monologue! A bowlful of yogurt, berries and granola and I was restored to a peaceful state of Camino appreciation.

This quote from Lao Tzu showed up on a bulletin board at one of the Albergues I stayed at this week and is most relevant to my final days on the Camino.

“Express yourself completely. Then keep quiet. Be like the forces of nature; When it blows, there is only wind; When it rains, there is only rain; When the clouds pass, the sun shines through.”

- Lao Tzu

I study the Tao as a regular practice and shared with a fellow pilgrim that one of my favorite books is ‘Change your thoughts - change your life: Living the wisdom of the Tao’ by Wayne Dyer.  He asked what I took most from it, and my response was to do less, allow more. This has been one of the greatest gifts of the Camino. You aren’t doing much, just walking, eating and sleeping. When you are in this routine I’ve found that the mind can release from its typical overworking mode and it opens the door for creativity and messages to come through. I’ve had this happen a lot on my Camino, much of which has come through in my writing.

A symbolic moment and message happened for me last night and today, my final full day on the Camino. Yesterday was the one year mark to the time when my mom fell down the stairs to her death and I was stuck in a replay of her final moments. I was thinking of what she must have been doing, what she was thinking about and even what she was wearing. I imagine she had the music on full blast and was dressed in a way a normal person would for a nice dinner, but for her it was her everyday fashion even if she planned to not run into anyone else that day. We know that she was taking care of her plants because she had a spoonful of dirt next to her when she was found. It brings me comfort to think of her doing her normal day things. For people that have experienced the traumatic death of a loved one it is very common to play out the imagined scene over and over, as a way of processing that it really happened. I still find myself doing this, as disturbing as it is, because it is the only way for my brain to grapple with the reality that my mom has died. When I woke up in the morning I realized that one of my diamond earrings was gone. The earrings were a high school graduation gift from my parents and I have worn them every single day for 18 years. I shook out the sheets and searched every nook and cranny of my room, but no earring. It felt very weird to have a naked earlobe, and I was obsessing about this during my first hour on the trail, when I got a message, while simultaneously a double rainbow appeared. The message was to do less, and allow more. Don’t waste any more energy on trying to understand how the earring went missing, allow bigger and better things to come into your life. This happened on this night for a reason, you’re upgrading your life.

💎 So I will allow an upgrade of my diamonds, and many more gems to come into my life - thanks for the intervention and reminder, Mom 💎

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