“Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.”
The unknown is good for us.
I know, right? It’s terrifying! At times, anyway. Even those of us uncommonly drawn to the Unknown, and its life partner Change, suffer moments of holy f***, what am I doing here! Or, its sadder counterpart, ‘why me?’
Walking and writing are leaders, both. Where one leads us through the landscapes of the physical world around us, the other leads us inwards, through the landscapes of our own interior. The knowable unknown. The unknowable known.
Journeys, either way.
It’s no surprise to me that many (most?) of the people walking The Camino, the mystical road across Spain, are women and most of them around or well over 50. The children gone, their lives shaped by this and other losses, the longing to walk the turning wheel of life becomes greater than the need to ‘stay home’.
It’s equally no surprise that most people who come along to The Write Road writing workshops and courses are women around or well over 50.
Whether walking or writing, the interior is calling.
Whether walking or writing, there are a hundred, a thousand, a million reasons to ignore the call. As many reasons as you need, actually.
And then, whether walking or writing, take one step towards the longing and what you most fear will come to pass: everything changes. It has to. Because, whether walking or writing, you have opened the door to an inner strength that previously held no sway, has been silenced, has been patiently biding its time for the light.
Walking and writing lead us into the unknown and for this reason they change lives. They change lives precisely because in one moment a decision was made to step forward, rather than hold back.
Courage, either way.
And that’s why the unknown is good for us. It makes us brave. It brings us to life. We have no choice but to surrender. No choice but to meet what’s right before us in this moment. No choice but to call on all the personal resources we’ve gathered along the way through this life and put them to work on our own behalf.
Through walking and writing, we meet beauty.
We meet life.
As it is. As we are.
Written by Stephanie Dale, author, journalist & traveling writer; founder of The Write Road and Walk and Write.
Stephanie Dale is an award-winning journalist and author with a fondness for walking and writing. She is a passionate advocate for the visibility and voices of everyday people and focuses on supporting new and unpublished writers to write and keep writing. The Write Road is dedicated to empowering people to tell their stories, their way.