S.A. and I are still in the Berkshires, but our sons, who drove up for the week with the dogs, have now left for home.
We’re staying a week longer with Katherine to help her with her house and her decision to sell it. Since she’s in her eighties and does not use the Internet, she needs our assistance. The world has evolved from looking for real estate agents in the phone book, alas.
After our sons left, I felt so alone. I went for a walk up Cone Hill Rd, but after an hour in the sun and fresh air, some of the sadness drifted off and sailed into the approaching clouds.
On the Camino people were constantly entering and leaving my life. Even though it wasn’t the same as missing my dear sons, I still felt the joy of seeing old friends and the pang of sadness at our leave taking.
Each day on the pilgrimage had a different tenor, and after a while I learned to accept whatever the day brought.
After reaching Sarria, where many routes converge and the number of pilgrims increases, I listened to the wisdom of a longtime pilgrim who said, “After Sarria, the Camino changes. It becomes a giant picnic where people are out for a good time. You have to adjust.”
Instead of feeling irritated at the maurading teens on the path with their iPhones piping in pop music, I opened myself up to a new experience without judging myself or others. I didn’t love the blaring music and the screaming laughter after my weeks of meditative solitude, but I enjoyed the kids’ enthusiasm for life and their excitement of being with school friends on the Camino. I accepted the new day.
So now my sons are gone and it’s just S.A., my mother-in-law, and I in her little house near the creek with no Internet or TV. It’s a new phase of my time here without my sons’ lively conversation and zest for life. I’m adjusting to the quiet by walking, writing, and swimming across the Stockbridge Bowl. If it rains tomorrow, I’ll go to a yoga class.