What a joy to travel the way of the heart.
Photos from some of my lovely group of first-time pilgrims ready to start their Camino from Astorga to Santiago!
Hello South Africa, Australia and USA. How exciting! And of course, the lovely Sylvie from Canada, adding her infectious joie de vivre to our party of discovery and personal transformation. 🎉👣
Let the fun begin!
September 5, 2019
Touch down in Madrid! 33 degrees and balmy. We’re all here finally after one backpack and a set of hiking poles going astray. The poles turned up an hour later from London and the backpack is flying in early tomorrow from Toronto.
We’re rolling with it. No doubt the Camino will have other surprises for us.
The early arrivals strolled through the city, sipped our first coffee, later our first sparkling wine and enjoyed dinner out at a locally recommended eatery. Brushing up our Spanish.
Life is sweet on this street. Next stop Astorga.
September 6, 2019
ASTORGA. A PLACE TO BEGIN.
“And wasn’t it a story that brought millions of pilgrims to walk the Camino? True or false, in some ways it didn’t seem to matter whether people believed there was a saint or relics or miracles. A story of discovery and hope drew us to walk, a story written by millions of slogging feet and seeking spirits.” (Ailsa Piper. Sinning across Spain)
And so we arrived at our starting point today, in Astorga – one of the oldest dioceses of Spain. Oh the grandeur of the Cathedral Santa Maria Astorga and Gaudi’s Episcopal Palace. Chocolate, Maragato dishes and the traditional mantecada pound cakes are prolific. We buy our pilgrim shells. We clink glasses and eat Tapas.
Now we just want to begin. To set foot on that beautiful way of the soul. But first we must prise ourselves from the world. Prepare. Set new routines in motion. Wrestle with a degree of vulnerability, unlearning and letting go, so we can find something new. So we can come back renewed. In full expression of who we are. Tomorrow is a gentle start.
September 7, 2019
Astorga to magical Castrillo de los Polvazares.
That each step may be a shedding.
That you will let yourself become lost.
That when it looks like you’re going backwards,
you may be making progress.
That progress is not the goal anyway,
but presence to the feel of the path on your skin,
to the way it reshapes you in each place it makes contact,
until the moment you have stepped out.
This is how our Camino began today. With presence. A moving away from the known. Bundles on backs. At last after months of planning. A wave of excitement and green, the day luring us into a warm embrace of newness, beauty, awakening and the promise of something wonderful. Because we were ready.
And so it unfolded. An afternoon at Flores Del Camino in the world heritage listed 16th century Maragato village of Castrillo de los Polvazares was other worldly. We made a profound connection to walking this special way, understanding something about the sacredness of tradition and ourselves, and our place in the world. Tying meaning to this act of wandering and creating intention to be better, to germinate the purpose of our lives right here in this moment.
The Art Of Pilgrimage as a rite of passage was presented in loving detail by honest, soulful Camino devotees, Bertrand and Basia, who sent us on a star-struck rendezvous with geometry and ancient symbolism, pouring meaning on our path. Sealed with a fire ceremony at sunset and intention setting. Powerful. Nourishing. Not to be forgotten.
September 8, 2019
A walk to Rabanal del Camino
Today we walked before sunrise so the dawn could share its secrets. What wonderment. We are fixed on intention setting as we proceed, after our fire ceremony at Flores Del Camino. Nature will forever be full of geometry and sacred meaning thanks to Basia and Bertrand.
We walked 15km to Rabanal Del Camino to take up lodging at El Refugio Hosteria. The afternoon was spent snacking and lulling in the “green garden”. Yoga and Qi Gong followed in the lounge. We listened to the Vespers sung by the monks at the small parish Iglesia de Santa María then sat down to a chatter-filled 3-course pilgrim’s menu at El Refugio’s restaurant. We invited a lone French traveller to join us.
Sylvie and I take a trip down the memory lane of our first Camino in 2017 whenever we can. She cried when we entered the Albergue we had stayed in where (now deceased) hospitalero, Wolf, had nurtured her after a gruelling day’s walk. We spotted the Korean priest that Kim, our Korean friend had excitedly conversed with. We asked him for a photo.
The warmth and loveliness of our group is such a blessing! What wonderful people. They are delighted by pilgrimage after two days. We are the lucky ones witnessing their unfolding. Tomorrow, is 26km to the iconic Cruz de Ferro.
September 10, 2019
Rabanal to Molinaseca. And on to Cacabelos.
The steep, rocky climb and then descent from Rabanal to Molinaseca (about 28km) is a stretch of the Camino that places you in direct gaze of what it is to be here.
Walking to the historic Cruz de Ferro is so atmospheric and at once physically testing. It is an intense day.
The eight of us left in the dark of a chilly dawn with headlamps, for the highest point of the Camino. Five ahead and three behind. There is usually a lot of emotion expressed and intention made as pilgrims leave a stone or symbol from home to signify the intention to let go of something from their lives. People weep and often share openly. It is a place to release, receive, hug and breathe life into a new direction. It’s a place like no other to pay respect, feel and be free. Just another magical moment of taking time to be conscious on the journey.
Gail, Sylvie and I completed our day at the late hour of 6.30pm, fatigued but nourished by so many traveller’s tales. Our day was buoyed, witnessing Gail’s steely determination to keep going. She is 80 years old, gorgeous, fit and invested in living her life fully. Our team ahead, created a guard of honour to congratulate her on making it to the iron cross and down again. Slowly and steadily she keeps on. We are in total awe of her and everyone offers loving support.
Today we walked about 23km to the character-filled town of Cacabelos, which was welcomingly flat and calm. We walked through the calm green of the Bierzo vineyards to finally arrive, do laundry, savour a tasty pilgrim’s meal, and share more of each other’s company. A few blisters, aches and pains have surfaced, but as Sylvie says, it’s all part of the game!
September 11, 2019
Off to Trabadelo
“Next year I’ll be that guy I’m dreaming of. I’m not walking to find out who I am. I’m walking to find out who I’ll become.” Mike Posner
We walked about 20km today to reach Trabadelo. Erica realised she had left her poles behind at our Albergue, so her and I turned back for one kilometre or so to retrieve them. This gave us a chance to chat and look back on our primary school friendship. Who would have thought we’d be connecting again here, walking across Spain! About 10km later of flat walking and sweet insights into those two little girls, we caught the group up for breakfast in Villafranca Del Bierzo – one of the prettiest towns on the Camino. We relished our usual Spanish bacon, eggs, fresh orange juice and hot coffee.
Janet bought us all a sweet treat before announcing that she would be walking the tougher and longer mountain route into Trabadelo. The cafe owners shook their fingers worriedly, recommending the less strenuous road route. But Janet had made up her mind. I decided to join but give her space to set her own pace. Our group bid us a ceremonious farewell and we took off onto the steep path of unknown peril and pleasures. Today would be Janet’s day. One of facing her fear of hills and challenging herself. I was secretly excited.
After a steep ascent the route revealed an exquisite view down green slopes to the miniature outline of Villafranca Del Bierzo. I came alive and imagined Janet did too, in this solitary marvel up high of nature colliding with crisp blue skies.
Lisa and I had faced nature’s fury the night before when we’d learned that a bushfire had ripped through our small hometown in Australia, leading to the evacuation of her adult children. We were relieved to be walking this morning with positive news from home.
Janet celebrated with soup and a reunion with a German Camino friend in a tiny town on the mountain before making her way down. The rest of us met up at our character-filled Albergue, run by Camino-walker, Nuria, where we booked in for her 3-course dinner of pumpkin soup, lemon chicken, ice-cream and Bierzo wine. We huddled round the fireplace in satisfaction.
Each experience on this Camino knits our group tighter together. We look out for each other, we celebrate our wins, we share the fabric of our souls. It doesn’t matter where we hail from and what the status of our life journey is at this minute. We are joined by this vivid union on this historic undulating Spanish road.
September 12, 2019
Trabadelo to Laguna de Castilla
“When your world moves too fast
and you lose yourself in the chaos,
to each color of the sunset.
Reacquaint yourself with the earth
beneath your feet.
Thank the air that surrounds you
with every breath you take.
Find yourself in the appreciation of life.”
Christy Ann Martine
Today we walked about 16km from Trabadelo to Laguna de Castilla, a remote frontier town 1km from the Galician border. The last half would be a steep climb.
Lisa awoke feeling ill and today became her trial as she decided to push through ever slowly, hoping it would pass.
It was Sue’s turn to leave her hiking poles behind. We stopped for coffee at a truck stop and it wasn’t long before her and Gary caught us up. We wandered beside a stream of water dotted with villages, cats and cows in fields. The last stop before climbing up the mountain was Las Herrerias, where we decided to stop for a late breakfast. Alas, the town was out of electricity and cafés weren’t offering food. Then we found Miriam who obligingly made us omelettes on a gas cooker, with slices of cheese and tomato, along with fresh orange juice. I became the waitress, running out the food to the group, while she single handedly managed us and waiting customers.
Fuelled, we started the steep climb.
past Hospital Inglés and La Faba where we stopped for cold drinks in a bar full of ambience and producing vegetarian food. We arrived at Laguna de Castilla at Albergue La Escuela, with our group prepped for an authentic pilgrim experience in bunk beds. Once showered and clothes laundered, (and a half hour nap for me) we sat out in the sun chatting to pilgrims.
Later we enjoyed the best pilgrim menu I’ve ever had! The lentil soup was incredible, as was the veal, accompanied by homemade wine. I chose tarta de Santiago for desert. Conversation flowed.
Another remarkable day on the Camino de Santiago.
September 13, 2019
Laguna de Castilla to Triacastela
“We exist because of you,” says Dosi the taxi driver, in animated broken English. “All the peregrinos that come through here make it possible for us. The taxi drivers, the pharmacies, bars and restaurants. Without you our economy is kaput!”
Suddenly he swings into O Cebreiro and says, “I give you five minutes to look around. You must. It’s beautiful.”
The Camino is a continuous unfolding of surprise. And that’s what you sign up for. The last 24 hours has been just that. As Lisa started to recover from her bug, Gail went down. After a difficult night we sent our friends ahead on their 22km walk and organised a taxi ride for Gail and I to our next night’s stop.
Isindrin from La Escuela had brought us extra blankets and turned on the heating for Gail last night. This morning he called Dosi to taxi us to Triacastela. We thanked him and he kissed us goodbye. Gail reluctantly succumbed to the ride. It was her dream to walk every step. But the best plans come undone and we must adjust. Then we allow all the little miracles that follow.
Like this morning’s kindness. Like pilgrim Michael popping up again in Laguna this morning as he passed through, just in time to lift Gail’s spirits. Like our excitable taxi driver and his impromptu diversion into O Cebreiro, insisting we take a look at the pretty hilltop town, steeped in Camino history.
We arrived in Triacastela in beautiful bright sunshine (named after its pre-existing three castles), to be offered our accommodation three hours early. Unheard of. More serendipity. We picked up some remedies at the pharmacy (including rice crackers which we happened to be looking for) and an English speaking pharmacist gave us advice. Right next door was a supermarket for water. Sorted.
Another block and we were at the Romanesque Church of Santiago de Triacastela, renovated in the 18th Century. Triacastela was the main quarry source for the Cathedral in Santiago. We sat on a pew inside in consideration of all.
Meanwhile our marching friends were having their own steep adventures, slowly making their way towards us in very hot afternoon sun. Step by step.
September 14, 2019
Triacastela to Sarria
Mythologist Joseph Campbell identified the hero’s journey, depicted across all cultures.
It is so evident on Camino, and expressed pertinently in Alexander John Shaia’s book, Returning from Camino.
The first stage is the summons or call to adventure – to walk the Camino.
The second is facing a series of trials and tribulations – physical and emotional difficulties.
The third is receiving the gift – wonderful insights into living your best life.
And fourth is returning to serve community – taking the insights home and applying them. Sharing the gifts you’ve gathered and the love you have encountered by being the best you.
After 9 days of walking and an especially intense day of walking yesterday for most, I sense we are conquering the first stage. Blisters, rashes, tummy bugs, aches and pains are settling down. Feelings of vulnerability and high emotion are dissolving and being transformed. It is slowly being replaced by revelations, personal satisfaction, self mastery and a certain elation at what the human body and mind is capable of. This is a high point.
Today we left Triacastela at 6am to walk about 22km to Sarria. We wanted to avoid a repeat of yesterday’s hot afternoon walk, by leaving early. Gail had recovered from her 24-hour bug and slotted back in with zest. Our group was complete again. Stronger. More resilient than ever. Soaking up the privilege of being here having this experience right now, plucked from life’s predictable routines.
Gary was bowled over with appreciation and surprise when we were able to organise his lost shorts being retrieved from the previous accommodation and have it delivered to us in Sarria at no expense at all.
The Camino kicks butt and the Camino provides lovingly.
September 15, 2019
Sarria to Portomarin
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
So here we are exploring on the Camino. Sylvie and I are leading six special people who dared to dream, who signed up for an adventure and self discovery. We are so privileged to be experiencing another Camino with and through them. Two weeks of pilgrimage and intention setting in Spain. I couldn’t think of anywhere more mind and heart-opening than here to be on an inner journey. It is a physical journey one takes to Santiago and the nature of it creates a powerful pause point to consider where you are on your life path. To crack that open and look at it over hundreds of kilometres. It takes bravery and commitment. Commitment to yourself and your own journey.
This Camino includes private Tapping sessions with me to identify for each person what they would like to change and let go of, and what they really want for their lives. And move towards it. All this is achieved with my guidance through this powerful therapy. We are identifying and transforming negative beliefs, childhood programming, memories and sabotaging patterns that are limiting and preventing full expression of a satisfying life. It is about taking back control and creating an authentic life. It’s backed by neuroscience and research, and gaining momentum as a powerful tool for change in psychology. So here we are on Camino, consciously moving forward, letting go, creating and affirming positive change on this sacred road.
Today we walked about 24km from Sarria to Portomarín. We left in the dark and arrived by 2pm. What a beautiful day stepping out in the soothing greens of Galicia. We all made the distance. My star team. Each one is exploring, rising and conquering the path beneath them. The one that’s made by walking.
16th September, 2019
To Palas de Rei
Be thankful now for having arrived,
for the sense of
from a well,
for remembering the long drought that preceded your arrival
and the years walking in a desert landscape of surfaces looking for a spring hidden from you for so long that even wanting to find it now had gone from your mind
until you only
remembered the hard pilgrimage that brought you here,
the thirst that caught in your throat; the taste of a world just-missed
and the dry throat that came from a love you remembered but had never fully wanted for yourself, until finally, after years making the long trek to get here it was as if your whole achievement had become nothing but thirst itself.
But the miracle had come simply from allowing yourself to know that you had found it,
that this time
someone walking out into the clear air from far inside you
had decided not to walk past it anymore;
the miracle had come at the roadside in the kneeling to drink
and the prayer you said,
and the tears you shed
and the memory
and the realization
that in this silence
you no longer had to keep your eyes and ears averted from the
could save you,
that you had been given
the strength to let go
of the thirsty dust laden
that brought you here,
walking with her
bent back, her bowed head and her careful explanations.
No, the miracle had already happened
when you stood up,
shook off the dust
and walked along the road from the well,
out of the desert toward the mountain,
as if already home again, as if you
deserved what you loved all along,
as if just remembering the taste of that clear cool spring could lift up your face
and set you free.
The Well – by David Whyte – (in Pilgrim)
We left Portomarín in the early hours, covering about 24km to Palas de Rei. We passed many people we knew again and again. It was a long day but we all arrived safely. A new experience awaited. Sleeping in pods in a new Albergue. After settling in we went for dinner in the town. Erica and Janet popped into the church and received a pilgrim blessing from the priest.
Another beautiful day drinking from the well dwelling in the miracle of being here.
September 17, 2019
Palas de Rei to Castañeda
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.”
The last 200 metres to our guesthouse accommodation near Castañeda was through a eucalyptus lined grove, ending off our 24km day. We had the place to ourselves. An afternoon of drying laundry, tending to blistered, tired, remarkable feet that have carried us for 11 days. How remarkable is the body? We are immersed in a marathon a day, and no-one wants to retreat. Spirit and determination carries us to our goal, finishing at Santiago in a few days.
Of course, it’s a fantastic ride. Coming alive. And life is just brilliant – traipsing across a beautiful land, connecting with fellow human beings. Connecting to ourselves. Giving ourselves the gift of time. We are steeped in the magnetic routine of preparing backpacks, the rhythm of eat, sleep, walk. The shared experience gives it a depth that lifts, marks the soul.
September 18, 2019
Castañeda to O Pedrouzo
Another big day of exceptional walking today from Castañeda to O Pedrouzo after overnight rain, has completed our second last day on Camino. We are 19km from Santiago.
We are eight firm friends now bonded by this marching experience of trials and triumph, and exploration of self.
We have been blessed with thirteen days of great weather. We are so lucky. We’ve made honey. We’ve set personal transformation in motion.
Today was full of joy and anticipation of the end as we counted down the distance on the familiar camino markers. We had a delicious late breakfast with fresh orange juice and cappuccinos after 5 hours of traversing through little hamlets and fragrant forests of eucalyptus trees of merciful shade.
We arrived early at our Albergue in O Pedrouzo, showered and washed laundry before eating out. Paella and pizza were the picks. The waitress arrived with complimentary glasses of creamy liqueur to complete a perfect evening. Sylvie, Janet, Erica and I then took off into the early evening to attend the pilgrim mass in the village church.
It’s a wonderful moment to just be still with great reverence for this long walk. To allow the deep significance of the last few weeks in. To rest there, luminous. To let truths percolate from our journey of intention. So we can go home and live our best lives, wholeheartedly.
This is my wish for this beautiful group.
September 19, 2019
Santiago! We did it ❤️
14 days and 265km.
21 September, 2019
A beautiful ending
Our Camino came to a close with two days of celebration in sparkling Santiago. Boutique hotels, gourmet Tapas bars, relaxing massages and souvenir shopping were all delights. Australian author, Margaret Caffyn met and took us to the outdoor terrace of the Parador Hotel, from where we sipped drinks and stared in disbelief at the early evening, sun-drenched grand cathedral. Margaret shared her intimate stories and the following day we became the first group to take her secrets of Santiago meander. What a reveal! We discovered places we would never have known about. Margaret’s passion for pilgrimage and all things Santiago made this such an authentic experience.
Today the eight of us parted ways. Some flew home. Sylvie and I started our own walk to Finisterre, a stretch we never did in our 2017 Camino Francès.
I like to think the experience over these last two weeks enabled not only a real connection to nature and this extraordinary stretch of earth, but to self. Resilience. Gratitude for the incredible physical body we inhabit, gratitude for our ability to heal emotional disconnection within ourselves. The realisation that we have the power to change things. Separate our conditioning from our authentic selves.
I heard about a pilgrim who came to walk after a breakdown, and had an epiphany on the Meseta. This person realised that for the first time, they could love and accept themselves. Herein lies the greatest healing of all. I see it time and again in my work. When peace is made, the past is put to rest, stress is cleaned up and there is radical self love and acceptance, everything changes. The way appears before you, and you walk out onto it.
September 23, 2019
Santiago to Santa Mariña & Mazaricos
All along this road
not a single soul—only
The walk to Finisterre is a gentle release after the buzz of the busy road into Santiago, the build-up and the mixture of emotions. It is recommended by so many that you take time to process your Camino before re-entry into everyday life. Psychologist, Alexander John Shaia says you are “psychologically naked” after the long journey, and he also recommends that you have one person to share your reflections with on your return. A few days of integration and relaxation is also ideal.
Two days on the Finisterre route has been so relaxing on a whole new level. After the excitement of Santiago and the successful arrival of our group, Sylvie and I have had time to process our achievement, the learnings and recall the highlights of our trip. It is so great to be able to reflect and allow everything that has happened to land and settle. We feel so fortunate to have led such an amazing band of marching souls, who bonded and delighted in each other along the way. The inner Camino was always my goal and passion.
Two from our group are walking to Finisterre independently and what serendipity to all be booked at the same hotel tonight! So we all went out to dinner.
Yesterday we walked 22km in driving rain. The first rain of our Camino and not pleasant. My cheap Santiago umbrella ended up a mangled mess. Our shoes sloshed. Each cafe became a point of relief. We watched many decide to taxi on. Who could blame them. Sylvie and I put heads down for the last painful 8km to our destination for the evening. Host, Maria placed a big air blower in a room for our clothes and boots, lined with newspaper to absorb the wet.
Today was clear and we moved ahead appreciatively through fresh forests to Cee, on the ocean. We have met new pilgrims along this route, each with unique distances travelled and stories to tell. We dipped our feet in the cool ocean at a nearby beach, and I had a swim. Tomorrow is Finisterre.
September 24, 2019
~ By David Whyte
The road in the end taking the path the sun had taken,
into the western sea, and the moon rising behind you
as you stood where ground turned to ocean: no way
to your future now but the way your shadow could take,
walking before you across water, going where shadows go,
no way to make sense of a world that wouldn’t let you pass
except to call an end to the way you had come,
to take out each frayed letter you had brought
and light their illumined corners; and to read
them as they drifted on the western light;
to empty your bags; to sort this and to leave that;
to promise what you needed to promise all along,
and to abandon the shoes that had brought you here
right at the water’s edge, not because you had given up
but because now, you would find a different way to tread,
and because, through it all, part of you would still walk on,
no matter how, over the waves.
And so our Camino ended today just like that. Such a beautiful, broody, momentous last wander – along the coastline to the end of the world and our journey’s end, while the sky cried in ceremony. Nineteen days of extraordinary adventure, exploration and connection.
A gift. Sealed with love.
28 September, 2019
Muxia, and farewell to my trusty boots
“Travel compels you to discover your spiritual side by elimination: Without all the rituals, routines and possessions that give your life meaning at home, you’re forced to look for meaning within yourself. Indeed, if travel is a process that helps you ‘find yourself’, it’s because it leaves you with nothing to hide behind – it yanks you out from the realm of rehearsed responses and dull comforts, and forces you into the present. Here, in the fleeting moment, you are left to improvise, to come to terms with your raw, true self.”
Rolf Potts ~ Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
When a journey of a thousand miles – or 350km – ends, it is fertile ground for contemplation. The set walk and all its wild and wonderful happenings is over, and now is the time to reflect on what it meant to you. What was your intention for the trip? How did it unfold? Have you set intentions in motion for the future? We are on this planet to grow and create. To look at ourselves. And as they say, nothing changes if nothing changes.
On this journey, what did you learn about yourself, and what can you take away? We are always understanding more of ourselves – and a Camino is a powerful stage for self discovery.
I met a young man on the road this year who set off with 40 questions he was seeking answers for. He had already found them. When you decide you want to reap something particular on this journey, you enter dynamic creative territory. As you walk with present moment awareness for days on end, and with growing clarity and specific intention in mind, answers may start to land, and you start to draw your dreams closer. (In FasterEFT sessions with my group on Camino, we first cleared the obstacles from past experiences or negative beliefs held.)
I set my own personal intentions during our stay at Flores Del Camino, at an atmospheric evening fire ceremony under the stars, along with my fellow travellers. The last time I did this with such intention was a few years ago. Most of what I wished for came to fruition. It must be said that it came with necessary work and self application. And it was welcomed.
I couldn’t think of a more pertinent place than the unfettered stillness of a sacred road to disrobe from routine, reaffirm joy and create your life with purpose.
The Invitation. A poem
Some beautiful words about meeting your heart’s longing❣️ One of my FAVOURITE poems about showing up in the Universe. I’ve just shared this in a personal development group and thought I’d share it here.
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesnt interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know
if you can be alone
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.