WHO AM I AGAIN?
Today I received an email from a dear college friend. He’s not just a college friend; we were part of a group that traveled to France to study at the Institut de Touraine in Tours, France. I remember this as a very happy time. We were Americans struggling to become French. Our love of the language, the country, the history, and yes…the wine bound us together in a way we could not on our college campus. My friend has diligently kept track of us. This is what he said…
I am writing you in celebration of the memory of our 40th Anniversary of studying abroad in France. Every year when the Feast of All Saints arrives (Nov. 1st), I think of that weekend in 1979 when we all got to take our first independent trip. In my case, I went to Paris for mass at Notre Dame. Maybe I’m getting old, but those are very happy memories for me, and I hope the same is true for you.
I too remember that weekend. I took the train to Paris to spend the weekend with my cousin Henriette. He then catches us up on his life and invites us to share and to invite others, whose addresses he may not have, into the group.
This feels less like “catch up” and more like a spiritual exercise. I suppose I could reply with what I’m “doing” but that seems trivial. And if I am to respond with who I am…am I version michelle1.0 or version michelle61.0? Am I the sum of the children I’ve produced coupled with their accomplishments and the children they’ve produced? Or maybe I could list the degrees and certificates I’ve attained.
I’m no longer employed since I left my job to train for the Camino. And while I’ve never had a high level job I’m sure that I use my business degree and seminary degree every day…mostly in conflict resolution, scheduling, and praying for Divine guidance.
I know the Camino changed my body. My clothes fit differently and I have planters fasciitis in both feet. And I have pushed my body to attain geographical heights and distances I did not think possible.
I know that my heart and soul have been changed but I cannot describe those changes in words.
Here’s what I do know…
I am not fully who I was and certainly not fully who I am becoming.
…and I learned to make a tasty Santiago cake 😉