Anyone who receives an email from me will notice my signature at the bottom, Buen Camino! Simply translated from Spanish it means “good journey” but the meaning in those two words runs deep for me. They represent a rite of passage. They reflect a time in my life when everything that could change did change. Country, home, relationship, family, job, life, death. The journey through was hard. So much change at one time can leave its mark, even a scar. But, when I greet someone or leave someone with Buen Camino I am reminding them and myself that it is a good journey. A really good journey. It may feel hard, challenging, or difficult some days, but it is still my journey and it is a good journey.
But this particular phrase didn’t just spring from my lips one day. I came to understand its meaning as I walked the 500-mile medieval footpath of St. James known as El Camino de Santiago, which crosses northern Spain, starting at the French/Spanish border and ending at Santiago de Compestela in the far northwest tip of Spain. Who was I to think I could accomplish this? Never an athlete, not even a hiker, I decided to go. It wasn’t easy, but I toughed it out. I stayed focused on my destination. Where I needed to go was the only part that was clear to me. How I would get there every day was not. Other than the fact that I had to walk the path every day, one step at a time. Baby steps. Baby steps on the path of St. James.
For those of us immersed in change, we have moments when we are like the “pilgrims” of the Camino. We just want to sit down on the path and stop, call it quits. We’re tired of carrying our pack, bandaging our feet, looking for water and shelter every day. We feel ready to be done. But the only way to get to Santiago is to keep on moving, to keep on taking those baby steps. The baby steps get you there slowly but surely. So, if you are thinking of giving up, I invite you to stay on the path. What are the baby steps that you could take today to move toward your desired destination now and tomorrow? Pick one baby step and take it. You’re back on the path of transformation, moving toward your destination.