When Hurry is Evicted

Reflections on my 3-year anniversary of arriving in Santiago

I haven’t set an alarm clock since March 13.

Hurry has left our house.

No more, “Where are your shoes? We need to leave NOW!”

There was a time when Hurry lived in our house and he seems to have been evicted. Hurry no longer counts down in the back of my mind or ticks seconds off a clock telling me I’m late.

I’m here now—exactly where I need to be. Nowhere is pulling for my time or attention.

Be here now. Be here now. Be here now.

Although the circumstances of this Hurry-free life are different, it brings me back to the Camino in the best ways.

Each day held whatever it held without expectations for when or how it would be accomplished.

One foot in front of the other.

One day after the other.

Hurry isn’t invited on a pilgrimage.

Why allow Hurry on ancient paths past marvelous cathedrals? What pull is Hurry when you have a bottle of vino tinto to share with friends?

When I arrived in Santiago three years ago today, I was accompanied by weary pilgrims and the sound of violins and accordions echoing through the stone streets of the city. Hurry was nowhere in sight. No one said, “If only you had arrived earlier,” or “Ah, you just missed it.” We were there. It was our moment. We sat and stared at the cathedral and didn't check our watches. We followed our hungry stomachs to pulpo and bocadillo. We received the final sello and were awarded Compostelas. There was no due date, no finish line, no stop watch.

With the absence of Hurry comes other unexpected gifts, some less comfortable than others. Productivity tries to inch his way into our lives as a way of drowning out feelings we would rather ignore. Shouldn’t I be doing more right now?

Sit with it. Turn off problem-solving mode.

What matters more right now: We get this done or We are together?

There are certainly instances when the answer might be the former, but usually not.

The answer is usually: slow down, be here now, be together.

Mentally we can move on to the next meal, next day, next checklist item, or even the next season—missing the richness of life in front of us.

The boy saying, "Imma getchu." The boy pointing at the moon asking, "Hold it?" The boy getting a little taller and a little older and one day he wakes up from a nap no longer a baby.

But I didn't miss it. I was here the whole time. It was mine to live, mine to taste, and I did. And I will.

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