Now and Then – Then and Now – Step by Step

2014-05-15 07.23.52We often reflect on how walking the Camino helped us stay focused on the here and now and how easy it was to lose our way when not focused on the present moment. It seemed like we might only lose track of the yellow arrows or shells momentarily before we were wandering off the trail and onto another road or animal track – sometimes together, and sometimes even losing track of one another! The rhythm of walking could sometimes lull us into inattention of our guideposts. The realization that we had lost our markers helped us return our attention towards finding The Way again. Awareness seems key! And in life off of the Camino, one can “walk” a long way off the path before realizing we are in the weeds of our lives, so to speak.

Now that we are settled into Tiny and cozied up for the winter the universe is sending us gentle reminders not to get too cozy. For one thing, the land we are renting just sold! The new owners aren’t planning on moving out this way for over a year or more and they are quite happy to have us here in the meantime, but it’s still a reminder that we can’t be here forever.

Soon after we found out that news, a friend informed us of a potentially interesting job opening in the Ottawa area that Nicky might consider (and we are still following through on a number of potential ideas for how to land with Tiny in that area). Simultaneously, Judy’s sister told us about a friend of a friend who lives in New Brunswick (not too far from the Maine border, another place of interest to us in term of landing) who might be interested in having a tiny house land on their property. And finally, after all that, some lovely neighbors from further down our road drove up our drive the other day to welcome us to the neighborhood. They invited us to a whole host neighborhood get togethers, including meeting up one a month at a local restaurant, local yoga and drumming classes with carpooling to get to them, potlucks (which, interestingly, always have vegan gluten free options!), a dragon boat team, and the local choir (Nicky has been searching for a way to sing since we arrived back in Cape Breton five years ago now). All very important parts of the of a vision we had crafted over two years ago when Nicky left the university and we set out on a different path – one that was initiated by walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail.

At this point no direction is certain, but after a hiatus – maybe precipitated in part by Mercury retrograde taking us back over past terrain and reacquainting ourselves with old friends and important values – potentialities are popping up out of the woodwork as the retrospective it introduces lets go of its hold. It’s clear the universe isn’t pointing us in any particular direction yet – the Ottawa/Wakefield Quebec area, eastern and southern New Brunswick, our current homeground in Cape Breton.

It can be too easy for us to get pulled into the future again – planning, searching – and forgetting about the quality of our lives right now. To provide some form of balance, the universe also sent us a 45 hour power outage (! Now that’s a sure fire way of getting us to refocus on the here and now!

We trust that the future will reveal itself, just as the Way of the Camino led us forward step by step. However, this doesn’t mean that we don’t make efforts to further explore what that future might look like. We did prepare for the Camino – reading many books and blogs, talking to others who had walked it, researching equipment, travel plans, and places to stay. We stretched ourselves and walked many kilometers in prepa2014-05-05 15.52.15ration. But none of this revealed what the actual experience would be like in the moment to moment, day to day walking. These tasks made up the present leading up to the manifestation of that vision. What will serve as yellow arrows to keep us on track in the here and now? Life does not provide such clear and regular way markers. There is no book like Brierley’s guide to inform us of the terrain ahead in our lives. The power outage kept us living one minute, one hour, one day at a time as we needed to deal with systems, stay warm, interact with neighbors. What will help remind us of this step-by-step approach in the coming months?

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