The third day of the Camino I noticed the ferns.
They were everywhere; growing - almost impossibly - out of the side of ancient stone walls.
Ferns at every stage - baby ferns, newly unfurled ferns, old and established ferns, and even dry, brown ferns at the end of life.
It was the baby ferns that caught my eye.
So fresh, so full of potential life, bursting with green.
If I sat down and watched one of them I might have witnessed its actual unfurling.
And as I passed baby fern after baby fern, I felt that familiar Voice whisper into my soul:
That. That is who I want you to be.
Always full of life, of possibility, of new learnings.
Always keep growing, Alice. Always keep learning.
There is an expectation that we will stiffen as we age - in body, yes - but also in mind and spirit.
Our views will become more entrenched.
Our minds less supple.
Our opinions cemented.
But what if - as we aged - we instead became more curious?
What if we asked more questions and offered fewer answers?
What if we tried new things, even risking failure?
What if we stayed open to new ideas, rather than closing down?
What if we remained green, supple, as full of possibility as a baby fern?
What might life look like then?