I posted this entry at trailjournals.com on Don’s 60 birthday, July 6.
“When are you going to do the Camino?” one of my good friends, John, asked as Linda and I shopped in Lowe’s last Monday.
“I plan to go one day,” I responded. “I’m just not sure when right now.
John undertook his walk from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago last summer. A few months later he shared stories from his pilgrimage with our group of running buddies one morning over coffee. Producing his certificate of completion, it was obvious that John’s journey had been both physical and spiritual.
So last Tuesday, the following day after that chance meeting with my friend at Lowe’s, I decided to search for plane tickets to Madrid. I check delta.com regularly like some people monitor the stock market. Always looking for a deal, it occasionally doesn’t even matter where I go. I just like a bargain. When I spotted one departing from Atlanta in mid-August, I only vacillated for about an hour before hitting the “purchase” key. I too was going to Spain.
“I just booked a flight to Madrid,” I sent in a text message to Alton.
“You are like me……a restless soul,” my friend responded.
Alton was right. Lately I’ve been restless. The decision really wasn’t a difficult one.
In six weeks I’ll embark on another adventure…..a journey…a pilgrimage. As I write this today on what would have been my brother’s 60th birthday, I’m thinking about Don and what he would have said. He would have reminded me to “be careful.” And I will. And just as I did when I successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, I will have my brother with me in spirit. Physically, I’ll travel alone. But within, I’ll know that Don is with me.