Last week, I mentioned Red Pepper Spectacle Arts’ annual Kensington Winter Solstice parade, formerly called the Festival of Lights, in Kensington Market. Here’s a selection of pics I took in Alexandra Park, where parade participants – toting handmade paper lanterns – congregated around a gigantic papier-mâché hand and a colourful collection of talented musicians and dancers.
I started November with a new perspective. After being given the “restructuring” speech at work, I cleared out my desk and walked home – for three hours – breathing in the crisp, fresh air of early November, soaking in the unusually warm autumn sunshine, frolicking in the kaleidoscope of glorious carmine, rusty red and golden yellow leaves as they fluttered to the ground. Yes, frolicking. Despite being thrust into the uncertainty and panic of the suddenly unemployed, I felt a definite lightness: the world had opened up before me, and my options where limitless.
It was the same sense of calm and optimism I felt when walking the Camino in May. With every step, there came a rhythm, and with that, a sense of peace. And the ability to be present and in tune with my surroundings. Instead of feeling lost, I made every step with purpose. And I paused. After that first step in Astorga, many a time on that long walk to Santiago, I’d pause and simply thrill at where I was. Because no matter how hard it was to cross those mountains, I couldn’t deny the absolute awesomeness of being there.
To pause and just be. The Camino taught me that. And as November continues to fall upon us, I find myself back there – a little exhausted by the challenges of the days before, not knowing what lies behind the next peak or valley, but excited about the possibilities of adventure that lie ahead.
So as the pilgrims wish one another on The Way…