Starting Fresh

Starting fresh! The Camino planted the seed. I spent 40 days walking across northern Spain with everything I needed on my back. That seed has quietly sprouted and grown. I have decided it is time to get rid of everything I own, sell my house and move to a studio apartment in downtown Kansas City. I am terrified and exhilarated at the same time. I am preparing the house for sale, listing it the first of August. Between now and then I will spend a little over a month in Europe, three weeks of it traveling with my Granddaughter. It will be the usual — backpack and hostels, deciding where to go next while on the road. After I spend a week in Austria and Germany visiting friends, Chloe will join me in London three weeks later we will return from Madrid (visiting Ireland and Paris sometime in between).

When I mentioned the move to an apartment in KC to someone, she said, “Oh, you’re cutting back” assuming that at my age that is what a person should do. I was surprised, since in my mind I am lightening the load so that I am free to do more with less to tie me down. I want to travel light for the rest of my journey on the planet, however short or long it may be. I am choosing the River Market area because I want to be around people who are out and about and visible, not just in houses and cars.

I am already grieving the end of my time as a student at Washburn. That became my place and those people, my people. I felt it when leaving class for the last time last Wednesday — a feeling of loss. I just turned in the final paper tonight (1700 words in German!).

I have been asked to preach at Faith Lutheran before I move, the church from which I retired as Senior Pastor ten years ago. I will do that on the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. That is always a low attendance weekend due to the urge to travel as soon as school is out and a long weekend arrives. That way I can’t do too much damage! It has been a long time since I have preached (and it is the only weekend I have available). That community has been a safe place filled with people who have shown more love and care to Mary Ann and me than could ever be repaid. I realize I am only moving an hour away, but try telling that to my gut!

I am listening to my waterfall at the moment, the one that has brought peace and serenity into my life daily for most of the ten years since retiring. The space behind my house feels secluded in spite of the residential setting, with trees providing the sensation of being nestled in a forest. The opossums, raccoons, recently a rabbit, the black squirrel and bunches of brown ones, birds of all kinds will be missed.

I guess it is time for another adventure. There will be plenty of pain, since I live with a chronic case of Separation Anxiety, but the need to see what lies around the bend keeps it at bay and spurs me on. The fear of separation will not stop me from falling in like with with the people I am yet to meet. The good news is that through these electronic media I can hang on to all of you with whom I have already fallen in like. Like it or not, I refuse to let go of you!

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