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Published: September 16th 2007
Yesterday afternoon, I have officially become homeless. Or rather, the road has become my home. Now, that all the preparation is behind me, and I've said my goodbyes, it all feels very exciting indeed. Life has suddenly become so simple, and I feel an immense sense of freedom and relief and accomplishment: I started to live my dream. I am on the journey. Goodbye paperwork, ties, responsibilities: welcome experience and adventure.
I spent a hectic Friday night with my good friend Sheilagh, packing my rucksack until 11 pm - and we did a great job at minimizing. We managed to keep it all to about 15 kg, which was my goal - anything that wasn't essential was left behind.
My farewell ceremony yesterday afternoon was phenomenal. Facilitated by the wonderful Anne & Barry of Coventry Earth Spirit, and attended by some of my closest friends, it was the most powerful send-off I could have wished for, complete and touching on every level. As part of the ceremony, we invoked the deities I wish to accompany and protect me on my journey with some amazing chants, and as A&B called them in, I could really sense their presence in the
room, big and radiant, ready to escort me on my quest. In particular I saw Lord Shiva with his blue skin and matted hair, beckoning me onto the path with a twinkle in his eye. Very exciting! The ritual continued after we left my flat for the last time - we met other friends at the Holy Well, where the beautiful Mandy gave me a moving water blessing (and she was in turn blessed by much water coming out of my eyes! 😊); and walked over to Jephson Gardens, where Sheilagh gave me a potent blessing by earth underneath an ancient tree. Near the river and bathed in bright sunlight, Sarida blessed me with fire, and Juliet gave me a delicious air blessing on Mill Bridge. We then returned to Jephson Gardens, where Anne & Barry blessed me with spirit. It was all incredibly moving and beautiful. Much of the delight of Rob & Juliet's children, Aden, Oben and 'Mea, I was then showered with dried rose petals that Sheilagh had brought, and with plenty of grass and dandelion roots from Aden! I still found them everywhere in my clothes last night.
We then all walked to the train station together, and after another quick round of hugs for everyone, I jumped on the train at 17.23. I will never forget the sight of twelve people standing on the platform, all waving me off with big white handkerchiefs. Neither will my fellow passengers on the train, I suspect! It was classic - just like in an old film, or in Sicily, where the whole village would come to the train station to say farewell to a villager who ventured outwards to find work. Only the brass band was missing!
I am now in London at a friend's house, and will be leaving the UK tomorrow. Coming here for a couple of days felt significant too, as this is where it all started - my journey into England and my path fifteen years ago. I hooked up with my old friend Suzi today for a coffee - we used to share a house together in East London when I first came here - and spent a happy hour or two reminiscing about the crazy stuff we used to get up to.
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