We often underestimate the hidden fears we accumulate along the journey of our lives. I am afraid (here we go) we manage to place them in remote corners of our mind in hope we never hear from them again.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) fears are like boomerangs, you send them away, and they return back even stronger.
Last week I was fortunate to share the road to Santiago with seven beautiful people from different geographies and ages. Without surprises, I end up learning about many things. My fears included.
Somewhere inside my brain, I tend not to pay much attention to the events around me that I cannot directly explain with my reason or science. I don’t spend much time thinking about “mystical” sources, and most likely, if they pass nearby I turn it into humorous moments. I am afraid (opss, here we go again) I feel uncomfortable out of my mental comfort zone.
At the beginning of the week, while staying at Oseira Monastery, a strange sound near one of the towers triggered my curiosity to take a picture. Nothing special, except for the little stain on my screen that after zooming turned into something unexplainable. See for yourself below.
A bird? probably. Did it make me think, yes!
The program went on. Step by step, I saw this amazing group of people starting to blossom along with a new scent in their lives. With hundreds of variables to manage and little mental space to think about the flying “enigma,” I carry on mentoring the best I could.
One day later, I spent all the journey looking for a particular item. It was my Mothers birthday, and we always filled the house with her favorite poppy flowers. I could not find any flower until the very last moment of the day. Almost at twilight, near a road sign, I saw one. Another hint or just a stroke of luck? Maybe both.
We went a little further on our journey. One more day, one more exercise. The group of beautiful people around me continued to open up the very best of human existence. Nationals from countries that are currently in conflict, proved once again that the “little man” is so much better than politicians and system servants alike.
Near an ancient church, I look into the sky and a set of gorgeous clouds prompt me to take another picture. But this time, I was prepared. First, I looked, and I could not see anything “funny,” so it was safe to proceed. Well, guess what. When I showed it to others in the group, immediately I got a finger in the screen asking to zoom in into the little painter (look at the right side just above the straight line of the clouds). Wow! Check for yourself! What a beautiful composition.
What could I say? By now, the road started to capture the deepest of my attention. Every new fragrance, comment, or movement, was carefully followed by my eyes. This is what happens when you are truly alive.
Every second was cherished to the deepest of my heart.
Around me, the smiles and vibrant faces reassured the program “side effects” were producing excellent results.
As we went further, the intentionality of our talks and conversations grew taller along with our revised purpose.
By now, I believe I was not afraid to welcome what I was supposed to learn during this week. One morning, I woke up earlier and joined the sky, welcoming the new day. In silence, where powerful words can be delivered a special moment happen to me. A long time regret I have been carrying in my “backpack” was unloaded. I looked up and the moon posed for my camera right on top of a local granary. Call it magic. I believe there is a great song like that.
I often say to myself that I don’t believe in magic, but after this week, I am not afraid to say that I do, mainly if real people in their real lives perform it. There is a lot more than bring us together than we could initially think. Day by day, step by step, I see real Magic unfolding in front of my eyes, and that is the reason why I keep walking.
On our final day in this program, we could all see more clearly the road ahead and the way to walk upon it. It is not easy to comprise nine days into a little something. But it is possible and useful. In case we have doubts, we did a short video.
Day by day, step by step.
In July (6-13) I will be in the Via Francigena. I still have two places available. Maybe some of you need a little walk with yourself or want to pass the message to someone you know.
Keep walking with me
João Perre Viana
Founder of Walking Mentorship
* Pilgrim – A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey (usually on foot) to a special place.