My friend Lois showed me an 'App' a few years ago that I have become quite smitten with. It's called Countdown and its purpose is to monitor the number of days-hours-minutes-seconds until a desired event arrives. I put our sabbaticals in this App several months in advance and just watch as the days seem to crawl and/or fly by. There are times when I think the departure date will never arrive and then I glance at the number of days remaining and think I will not have enough time to finish up and have everything done and ready before we are to leave. Either way, I find that I am hooked on this App and always excited when I have something to look forward too.
In a few days we will head off for our fall sabbatical. It has been a year of busyness after a tree fell in our backyard onto the deck and roof of our house. That repair has triggered a snowball of work and there has been a constant flow of workers at our home since February. I think the work is nearly finished and we are looking forward to its' completion.
As we near our departure I am reminded of one very important gift of our travels. Our sabbaticals are an exercise in living in the present moment. The only forward movement occurs each day as we move forward one step at a time. I will have moments in which I think of my final destination but most days are filled with the joy of just being exactly where I am and savoring the beauty and newness of that exact moment. I become a different person and I have to admit I like this new me. I am not checking things off a to-do list, constantly planning for what is ahead and needs to be done, and who is flexible and intentional about the moment she is in. It is easy to lose yourself in busyness and I have been lost. I am looking forward to a change-mostly in myself.
In the next few days we will be heading back to Spain and will walk the northern coast along the Camino Norte. We will either walk the Camino Ingles or Primitivo and meet our friends the Martina's along the Camino Frances. I am excited for that moment but know the real gift will be the day to day process of simplifying my life and being content and at peace in my present moment. I look forward to the fullness of that gift.
And, while I may master this process, I must confess there is one event I will still enter in my Countdown App. My return homeward...you are the reason we return and as excited as I am to leave is as excited as I will be to return. Until then...