Sesenta dias. No matter what language is used, the number sixty sends chills through my body. We have been planning and training for this pilgrim’s journey for a year now. Today, only sixty days remain until we leave home for Europe.
I have tried to plan everything: bought the right equipment and clothing; round trip tickets from Houston to Paris; hotel room in Paris; high speed train to Bayonne; local train to St. Jean Pied-de-Port; overnight accommodations in St. Jean; and a flight from Santiago, Spain, back to Paris.
But between St. Jean and Santiago lies a 500-mile long path that will not yield to being arranged or planned. The path is set; it is ours to walk. . How far will we walk in a day? What obstacles and hindrances lay in our path? I can look at pictures of El Camino de Santiago all day long on the web, but I can’t actually see my hand beyond my face for the first ten steps of the journey.
I have often talked with others about the concept of being in liminal space, that in-between space and time when we haven’t quite left where we were–and we have not yet seen where we are going. For example, you experience liminal space when you lose a job and don’t yet have another one to support your needs. Dante expresses liminal space best, I think, in The Inferno:
“Midway through the journey of our life, I found myself within a dark wood, for the right way had been lost.”
The way will not be lost (I hope!) because it is well marked. Once I take the first steps, I will likely feel the comfort of being “on the road again.” Let me know how you want me to keep you in mind for those 36 days of walking.