I went to mass last week and we sang the song about the morning that has broken, like the first morning, and we praised God for the “recreation of the new day.”
Recreation is an interesting word. Because it mostly conjures up images of play-time. The beach and camping and what not.
Or, maybe not. I don’t know what you like.
“Recreation,” though, is also about being re-created. And I’ve been thinking about that a lot this past week. What will it look like for me to be re-created? How do I get in a healthy place again?
I’ve been going to mass every day…and somedays twice, accidentally. I’ve been catching up on chores and thinking about art and even shopping for mandolins. I’ve done some weeding and some playing of the piano and some organizing of the things in my room.
How does one recover from burnout? How do you tell your heart that it’s OK and it can start living again?
I don’t know.
But I’m going camping next week and I have a new haircut and I’ve been catching up with old friends.
Last week I went to the bike mechanic. My tires kept catching bits of glass and going flat in the beautiful streets of my beautiful city, Detroit. So, I upgraded all the way to the intense tires that are supposed to stay inflated in the face of shiny, sharp things.
I picked up my bike and there was a girl, two ahead of me in line.
“Thanks for holding my bike for so long,” she said to the guy behind the counter, “I just got back from Spain.”
My ears perked.
“What were you doing in Spain?” the guy asked.
She answered, “I walked the Camino de Santiago.”
“WHAAAAAT????” I said.
She turned. I pointed to the shirt I was wearing, the one I made with the Camino shell on it.
“I’ve walked the Camino!” I exclaimed.
And we smiled and looked at each other. We exchanged a few pleasantries, mostly about where we each started/ how long we walked. And then we just kind of smiled at each other.
It’s too much, really, to start talking about the Camino. The journey impacts you too deeply, too personally to talk about in a mechanic’s shop. We both kind of realized that. We could stay shallow, where we were; but a dive any deeper would be a dive that would take hours.
The mechanic gave her her bike, and it was my turn–the rustle of receipt paper and reports and debit–and in the hassle, she had to leave.
“Hey,” I called to her, “buen camino,” the greeting and parting of the pilgrims on the Camino–a well-wish for the journey.
She turned and faced me.
I know the transition from the Camino back to your “real life” is hard. Suddenly, you have more clothes to wear and more distractions shouting and everything is different, now, anyway.
Also, a lot of the lessons of the Camino hit you after you’re home. You realize what you have when it’s gone, I guess. We looked at each other, both in Camino-esque clothes.
“Buen Camino,” she wished back.
And then she left.
And I’ve taken her blessing to heart.
Slowly I’m applying well-wishes and the smell of the flowers and the faces of my friends and the beauty of good art and the way the leaves hang heavy with water after these summer rainfalls to my heart like a salve.
So, that’s where I’ve been. 🙂