In anticipation of our trip to Portugal and our walk from Porto to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, I drew an oracle card from the Sacred Traveler deck by Denise Linn. I like the idea of a ritual in preparation for a trip. The card I selected was, Surrendering to the Journey. I laughed because the night before, I awoke stressing about airline connections, airport terminals, carryon items, and more. Eventually I fell back to sleep, surrendering to the folly of my worry. The card reminded me that it’s a journey we’re taking, and sometimes the unexpected glitches become the most memorable moments.

The next morning, I re-read the card and thought how journeys invite change. Change is stepping into the unknown, visiting a new country, and experiencing a new culture, food, terrain and weather. I thought of trees; it is the bendable trees that survive hurricanes. Research says it’s not the wealthiest, the youngest, or the healthiest who thrive, it’s the most adaptable, and that requires the ability to flow with change.

The unknown can be scary, yet that’s where aliveness dwells. J.R.R. Tolkien lost both parents by the age of twelve, survived trench fever during WWI, and began writing The Hobbit in 1930. Six years later, he created a group of visionary friends in Oxford called “The Inklings” that met weekly to support each other. In 1937, he published the Hobbit and began The Lord of the Rings amidst the German attacks on Britain in WWII. As a result of Tolkien’s resilience through disruption and change The Lord of the Rings was published in 1954.

My new mantra: “I surrender and delight in the journey!” …after confirming my itinerary.