“Let us be grateful for the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust
In April 2018, it will be seven years since you, my mother passed away, a moment in time that turned my world upside down. A morning, holding your hand on the hospital bed, begging for you to live. With my eyes closed, I saw a vision of a lighthouse against a blue sky. Then, all of a sudden, a burst of white light blinded me, your sweet exhausted plea faintly spoke to me without saying a word, I heard “Let me go!” Seven years ago, I thought I would never be able to handle a world without you in it. Seven years ago, I thought that my anxiety, depression and grief would hold me captive to a life filled with fear and unhappiness. Seven years ago, instead of giving up, with your help, charming gardeners appeared, I made the decision to bravely embrace the insecurity that lay before me and face any demons that would prevent me from moving towards the light.
Through hills and valleys, I would walk. You, my mother appeared and sent angels to my side. Though some days were darker than others, I continued with you, for the Bible says at Psalm 23:4, “Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and staff they comfort me.”
And here I am now, preparing for April 2018, when I will be commemorating these past seven years by traveling with a group of 16 pilgrims, on El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in celebration and gratitude for the love that you left me, that found me and planted its seeds for my soul to blossom once again. Brought together by whatever synchronicities along the way, we gather as a tribe guided by wanderlust and whatever else drives us, a continuation of the story that I want to tell. You are still with me. A beautiful story built on discovery and curiosity and faith as we stand on the edge, breathless, taking in the beauty that is offered. Walking in the sunlight in the middle of Spring, experiencing the transformation of my dreams into reality, you keep planting more magical seeds that will soon be shared by the many rather than the few, I am grateful. And, when I arrive at Cape Fisterre, the final destination for many pilgrims on the Way of St. James, considered where this world meets the next, I will humbly kneel with you setting out a prayer of thanksgiving for each one who has shown up on this journey giving me hope and strength when I thought I could not go on. And there it will be, that lighthouse of hope you sent me in that vision seven years ago when your soul moved on, you brought me there. And Paolo, dear wise Paolo Coelho, the masculine spirit guide as I wrote my way out, you too shall be at my side, for I followed your lead and there I will have earned my sword too, now a warrior for love.