A few days ago on Facebook I said, “One of the things I will miss when I get home will be the Camino markers. How am I supposed to navigate the world without these markers?” To which my friend Randy replied, “Perhaps ‘tis your lot to be one who leaves markers for others to follow.” I have been pondering that comment ever since. What would it look like to leave such markers? What would such markers look like?
I’m pretty sure I won’t be painting yellow arrows and Camino shells on sidewalks, lampposts, rocks, and the sides of buildings (although that could be fun, as well as slightly confusing for the public at large). That having been said, I find that I am intrigued by and attracted to the idea of scattering “markers” across the landscape of my life, where others might notice them and possibly use them to navigate their own living.
Perhaps such markers could be a listening ear or a kind word, a simple act of kindness or a shared moment of silence. Maybe just showing up grounded in a clear sense of my own self would mark the Way. Noticing beauty and sharing what I notice seems like a possibility.
I read this list and realize that these are already things I do (or at least aspire to do), not because I’m trying to leave markers, but simply because they are natural byproducts of me living my life in the world. They are just me striving to be the best me that I can manage in any given moment. And perhaps, finally, that is the point. If I went through life “trying” to leave markers it might “work”, at least for a while. But more often than not I suspect it would come off forced, off putting, and counterproductive. I can’t decide what markers to leave. That’s not my job. My job is to live my life with integrity, being as fully and completely myself as I can manage. That will keep me plenty busy from now until the moment I draw my last breath. The rest will take care of itself.
So for now I’ll just keep walking, taking life one moment at a time, and watching for the next yellow arrow pointing me in the right direction. Buen Camino!