My Dad is leaving tomorrow for Spain.
He's not just going on a vacation. He's set out on a pilgrimmage.
He is going to walk three weeks worth of the El Camino de Santiago trail (the entire thing is 800 km long and takes 5-6 weeks to complete). He is going to carry all his belongings on his back. He has special hiking boots and easy-wash-quick-dry-multi-pocketed pants. He has a map and a detailed itinerary. He has some friends who will walk with him for the first two weeks.
He has vision.
He has drive.
He has boat-lodas of courage.
When he first told us he wanted to walk the El Camino trail, I was impressed and surprised and immediately got worried.
I haven't stopped worrying, but I am starting to understand.
My Dad is in good shape. He's always been fit. I don't doubt he can walk the mileage. I worry about his diabetes. But Dad has taken precautions and consulted with foot specialists and diabetes specialists and he knows what he's doing.
Garth Brooks sings a song called "Standing Outside the Fire".
Life is not tried,
it is merely survived,
if you're standing outside the fire.
And lots of us just "survive" life. But to really live life, we have to be willing to take these big, scary leaps of faith with rewards such as exhilaration and enormous satisfaction and spiritual renewal.
It would have been easy for my dad to say that walking the El Camino was something other people do, not him. It would have been easy for him to say that, logistically, it's too complicated. Instead, he is choosing "standing inside the fire". It's a place for perseverance and determination and it's not for faint of heart. It's a place for bravery and strength.
It's a place for my Dad.
I'm so so proud of you, Daddy.