On Camino at home

On Camino at Lake Burley-Griffin, Canberra

Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed

Any hope I had of a Camino in Spain or France this year faded months ago. Covid-19 has confined me to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the smallest of all the Australian states and territories. Despite the rule to stay at home we are allowed to walk our dogs. Monty, my Labrador, and I are taking full advantage of this to explore the many paths around the mountains and lakes of the ACT.

Monty lives in the moment. His nose takes him on sensory adventures I can never hope to understand. While I wonder at the mist rising from the lake he follows the scent of a possum to the foot of a towering eucalypt. When I stop to watch a flock of grass parrots lift from their breakfast he dives through the reeds into cold water without hesitation.

With him the world is new. Everything is amazing. I am learning Abraham Joshua Heschel’s ‘radical amazement’ from him. It is incredible that I am alive, that I have senses intact and legs strong enough to take me wherever I will. These trees and birds in their beautiful morning are phenomenal. I am amazed.

And from this confinement I have learnt not to take anything for granted. An invisible enemy has taken away our freedom to travel, to see family and friends, to shop wherever we please. Never again will I treat these freedoms casually. This is one of many good things that have come out of the world slowing down.

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