Woyaya

I created a book about my experience on the Camino de Santiago and shared it with the universe. My intent in writing the story was to allow the readers to feel like they were in my shoes, head, and heart for the entire 500 mile walk.  I am lucky and honored to be the recipient of many unsolicited emails from throughout the world.  Most are personal stories about how people either enjoyed or were repulsed by my words.  Last week, one came in from a local lady named Carrie with an invitation to attend her Camino presentation at the Boise Unitarian Universal Fellowship at 9:30 AM on Sunday.  The time conflicted with my yoga schedule and the location is far from my home, but my inner yellow arrow told me I needed to be there.

On the long drive across town, it suddenly dawned on me that I am rarely in a place of worship.  Over the past 35 years, most of my visits to religious shrines were either weddings, Mass in Santiago, or temple visits in Bhutan.  Upon arrival, and feeling physical relief for skipping my Sunday down dogs, I ran into Dario and Susan.  These are two wonderful souls that came into my life a few years ago.  They welcomed me into a nondenominational crowd that focuses on the spiritual world.

Unbeknownst to me, David and Carrie began their first Camino in June just as I was completing my second walk.  Pretty cool to know that we were on the magic soil at the same time.  During the introduction, David explained that Carrie was very gung-ho about trip but he was filled with reservation.  I was frozen in time when they told the crowd that the combination of “The Way” and my book were the tipping points that led them to Spain.  I feel my purpose if to help others discover their own journeys so this moment sent a nice wave of chills down my spine.

I have read a ton an material about this walk, given hundreds of presentations,  walked it twice,  watched countless hours of relevant movies, and attended many lectures from fellow pilgrims.  This couple knocked it out of the park.  In less than one hour, they spread 110% of the ups and downs associated with this long walk.  David told a story of humility about arriving in a village to find that their hostel reservation was not honored. He turned the situation into a reminder that entitlement can be overdone.  They went with the flow and the alternative sleeping arrangements put them in touch with a Camino angel.  All wounds morph into strengths.

We are all on a shared journey through life.  On the path in Spain, people open their heads and heart to help fellow pilgrims walk each other home to Santiago.  David and Carrie emphasized the need to continue this spirit with all those we encounter on a daily basis.  At the beginning of the presentation we were asked to take the blank note card on our seats and write down a burden, joy, or person that we were carrying in our hearts.  The completed cards were deposited in small baskets and passed down the aisles.  At the end, we were instructed to take a random card to help carry or cure a common heartfelt feeling.  The one that found me said, “May the immigrants find warmth, peace, food, love, and shelter this winter.”  We all help each other home.

The service ended with a communal singing of Woyaya.  I had never heard the song but was moved the following lyrics:

We are going, heaven knows where we are going,
We’ll know we’re there.
We will get there, heaven knows how we will get there,
We know we will.

It will be hard we know
And the road will be muddy and rough,
But we’ll get there, heaven knows how we will get there,
We know we will.

We are going, heaven knows where we are going,
We’ll know we’re there.          

If this never ending journey works as planned, next Tuesday’s edition will be sent from the banks of the Ganges River in Rishikesh.  Until then, help a fellow pilgrim.