July 17th, 2013
The Camino de Santiago looms near. Start day, 46 days away. I remember my time in Germany when I had just 46 days away before I was going home, and the days flew by like summer days do, gone before I realized it. June, July, August, seem to be half of the length of any other month. I of course have so much to do within the next few months, I’m sure it will be the same way.
Next month, my horse, dog and favorite things I own will be making the trip back down to Arizona. I have to pack up the things I’ve accumulated in the past 8 years in Colorado, I’ve acquired a lot, and I’ve also sold a lot. I’m not terribly bad about letting things go. I don’t like to be weighed down. But I’ll be returning down that famous 17 hour drive I made nearly exactly 8 years ago to the month. August has always been a big month for me, and my adventures. It’s a time of new beginnings and a time I’ve always become a year older. Its always been the month when school started, the beginning of a new year, new friends to make, new teachers to meet, new assignments to battle. But as the fear of deadlines and turning things in has slowly faded throughout the summer, I’ve become a little more used to being a normal personal again. My defense date for my Masters thesis still looms over my head, but it too, will soon be over. I have not been able to start reading for “fun” quite yet, but I’m sure that too will come. My free time on the other hand, has been re-directed towards my writing, something I’ve been deprived for years now. Since my Creative Writing classes as an undergrad stopped giving me prompts and creative writing assignments with deadlines, my writing has been secluded to poetry here and there, and of course my diary, aside from scholarly endeavors. But ideas for stories and poems have been exploding all over Tumbler the past few weeks, and it’s liberating! I’m finding my Zen in the world again.
The kids I’ve been teaching German too all summer are out of town this week and I’ve found myself with even more time to enjoy all that Fort Collins has to offer. Late evenings on the patios in Old Town, usually more time to swim, and more time to ride my bicycle. I vowed over the last semester that this would be my first carefree summer in Fort Collins, and it has been for the most part. I’ve had a good 8 years with FoCo, she’s treated me well, but her cold winters and dry air have left me hung out to dry, we don’t fit. Perhaps, if I never find a place outdoorsy or positive as Fort Collins, I’ll one day return, but for now, I have bigger battles to face. Fort Collins will always hold a special place in my heart, as it does for so many. She taught me how to love bicycles and beer. A life changing experience! The Rocky Mountains have looked over me, Colorado State University has babysat me, and also liberated me, and for that I must thank it. But traveling to Europe has opened my eyes to new ways of living and thought processes, and even encouraged my need to get a PhD. I can’t tell you what will happen after my Camino de Santiago, who knows who I will meet or what I will learn, but I assume its going to be an entire month of learning a lot about myself and others. It should be a great eye-opener, and I plan to soak it all in, bathe in it and the Spanish sunlight who has treated me so well in the past.
I still can’t get over my summers in Tenerife, the Canary Islands, or in Barcelona with Karen, eating Tapas by the sea, and soaking in the small island, it is a place so alive and familiar, and yet so far away from home. It does have a magical quality. Ireland as well, which will play a large role in the coming months adventures, has been tickling my senses for years. The fresh grass, the comforting people, the role of the sea in the lifestyle there, has always fascinated me. And yes, it is as magical there as it is made out to be in all the Hollywood films. My trek will start next month with a return to Croagh Patrick, the biggest mountain in Ireland in which St. Patrick himself “drove the snakes out of Ireland”. It’s an intense nearly straight up hike, but do-able in 4-hours if you have your game face on
Returning to that, which I have done once before, I think will set the tone of my great Pilgrimage this year. Then after a quick flight from Ireland down to Biarritz, France, a sea town in southern France, we will hop on a bus to St. Jean Pied de Port, the probably un-official starting point of the Camino de Santiago. Laden down with out backpacks, 2 pairs of all clothes, some sleeping pads, great shoes, and hopeful hearts, my big brother and I will set out on our biggest journey yet, together. I hope we learn a lot about each other, I hope we don’t want to kill each other, and I hope this trek will answer some questions in life for the both of us. We’re two wayward souls, who are very “un-tethered” as my step-mom put it.