The Useless Thing

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I read a book called “Sabbath” by Wayne Muller during our Camino Walk. I can not imagine a better book to have read during this long walk to Santiago. The book was filled with some great wisdom for living life, mostly about the importance of rest.

I am in need of taking in some of its sage advice again, it seems. You see, we in the midst of a very, very busy point in our lives as we moving out of our home of 34 years. Our home will go on the market in late April or early May and we are now packing to move into a condo we hope to rent for a year until we purchase again. As anyone that has gone through this experience knows, it is filled with anxiety and lists upon lists of things that need to get done.

The reason the long Camino walk and that book were so key to my life after Boeing, is it really helped me see the value of “useless things”. What do I mean by “useless things”? Here is a quote from the book that will help:

“To walk without purpose, to no place in particular, where we are astonished by the textured bark of an oak. To notice the color red showing itself for the first time in the maple in fall. To see animals in shapes of clouds, to walk in clover. To fall into an unexpected conversation with a stranger… To taste the orange we eat, the juice on the chin, the pulp between the teeth. To take a deep sigh, exhale, followed by a listening silence… to give thanks for a single step on earth. To give thanks for any blessing, previously unnoticed.”

These are the “useless things”. They are thoroughly without measurable value. Nothing is getting checked off the list. Nothing of significance is being accomplished. Oh, what a beautiful thing it is, these “useless things”. It means we need to break off our pattern of living where we measure out day by how many things we checked off our list.

The Camino walk taught me how to do this, along with the sage advice of this book. We cannot wait till we are finished, because we are never finished. We can not wait till things slow down. We need to take rest and stop and take in the “useless things” in life.

I think I am writing this blog to myself right now. To recall back to this most important lessons that the Camino taught me.

Blessings and grace to you!

John

Photograph of the Week

Since today is St Patrick’s Day, I figured I should include a photograph from Ireland for the Photograph of the Week.

Dingle

This is an image taken during our stay on the Dingle Peninsula.