It is our anniversary today. My partner in life, a woman who inspired me to propose the evening we met (yes, she accepted at that time) is close by my side as I prepare this post, looking at photos we have taken over the past week. I am in awe of this woman who somehow has found the strength to be strong as I prepare to make a very long journey, a pilgrimage in France and Spain. It would have been easy to give up the pilgrimage if she had not insisted that I follow my spirit. I know that over the next several months we will both have melt-downs simply because we are apart from each other. We have not done well being apart. Yet, this time apart has become important for both of us. Coming back together is the prize for being strong in terms of relationship. But an even greater prize is how both of us will have become “fuller” people in the process; stronger as individuals who choose to continue being life mates, heart mates.
Where will this dual journey take us? The answer is unknown; it is all about discovery as we both navigate each day separated from the other, forced to be fully connected to self. We will meet each day on an outer level as we pass the hours in a multitude of ways. But it is the inner journey that will likely prove to be the most difficult as we wrestle with loneliness and separation. I have no doubt that each day will see us both wondering what the hell we are doing apart from each other, especially at those times when we are most doubtful about ourselves. But then again, the fact that these journeys are about to begin is a testament in their own ways that we are both ready for these journeys.
When I began thinking about the pilgrimage and then planning it, I had thought that I was the only one going on a pilgrimage. Now, after the long preparation for the pilgrimage, I have learned that we are both going on journeys. That is one thing that is vital to understand. When you are in a relationship with another person, everything you do creates ripples for that other person. As I began to learn more about how this affected both of us, I became more aware of how it affected others around both of us – our children, our grandchildren, extended family, community friends . . . and the list will grow to include others that neither of us are as yet aware. And curiously, as we both see the affect on others, we find ourselves changing yet again due to the ripples of their changes.
And so I thank all who fill my life as I prepare to board a jet plane tomorrow to begin the physical pilgrimage where the journey is about placing one foot on the path and then taking another step and another step until I have reached Santiago de Compostela. I include you, my readers here in this thank you for your presence here is real and you are within the web of reciprocal change.