One of the joys of doing this blog is the people –
The wonderful people I’ve met through these scatty ramblings of mine.
I’ve become friends with some truly extraordinary people here – and in our travels Jennifer and I have had the chance to meet some of them too.
Some I have yet to meet, but hopefully that will happen in due course.
(Yes Ingrid, thinking of you!!)
Last year Jennifer and I did a trip to the US, and in the course of our travels we went up into the Seattle district where we met Lynda and Dale Lozner.
Lynda in particular had been active on the blog for some time.
We met them at the Twin Peaks Cafe – the place where those famous “That’s a damn fine cup of coffee” scenes were shot.
Lynda and Dale lived nearby, and were there to meet us with two hampers of incredible presents – which was so generous of them.
And when we announced that we’d be doing the Assisi tour, they were amongst the first to sign on.
But then tragedy struck. Their daughter Stacey was diagnosed with cancer.
Lynda contacted me to tell me that they would have to throw all their energy and resources into looking after her – which they did with love, devotion, and an unremitting conviction that everything would turn out ok.
It didn’t look good, initially.
And I would call them regularly to check in, and I could feel the strain and the fear in their voices. But they never gave up hope.
They put into effect some spiritual practices that gave them hope, and belief.
And things turned around.
A few days ago Stacey went for a medical check up and was told the cancer was gone. Completely.
Lynda and Dale had very much wanted to come on this current pilgrimage, and so Lynda prepared a little gift for those who are coming.
She remembered a post I’d written some time ago, about barnacles. Here is the post…
In it, I write:
We’re like a ship, steaming through life’s waters. And as the years go by, barnacles begin to form on our hull, under the waterline.
Out of sight.
Barnacles and seaweed, which capture the flotsam and jetsam of our worldly experiences.
This debris of life clings to us.
It slows us down, makes us less manoeuvrable.
It makes us cautious, hesitant, scared.
It tries to stop us going places we once went without a moment’s thought.
The barnacles finally get so thick we can’t move forward.
They burden us with their heaviness. We carry that heaviness with us as we struggle through our later years.
Finally, we give up.
But we can scrape those barnacles off.
We have to scrape them off, if we want to become nimble again.
If we want to be unafraid again.
We can do this, by walking the Camino.
And so what Lynda has done is she has collected some barnacles, and put them in a small and very beautiful bottle – she has included in the bottle the words of my post, reduced down into a miniature manuscript, and she’s attached a cord so that those walking on this tour can attach it to their packs.
She said she wants them to be reminded that the walk is helping to scrape off the barnacles. It’s obviously taken her a huge amount of time and effort to do this –
She packed it all beautifully in a box and posted it to Elena in Tuscany, to give to me – which she’s now done.
Lynda did all this while dealing with the daily traumas of her daughter’s illness.
Dale, her husband, is like the rock that those barnacles were attached to. I don’t know Dale well – but I know that he’s a sold guy, Very solid.
Dale and Lynda will be coming with us on the Indian tour, in September, and they’re very excited. They will head off with the huge relief that their daughter is okay.
So, tomorrow when the group meets up, Jennifer and I will give each of them their bottle containing the barnacles, and the tiny reproduction of my original post.
Created with love by Lynda Lozner – a very special lady.
Jennifer and I feel very privileged to know you and Dale.