So I am sat here at 6:44am the sun isn’t quite out of bed yet but the roosters are. At this stage I am the only pilgrim up and around at the Albergue Turistico Salceda, it’s very fresh and haven’t yet been able to source a nice cup of tea, so what better than a bit of relection.
Many people have written books on the Camino and the effect it has on their lives,the reality is as you walk the rugged terrain and push through each stage you can’t help but retreat into yourself and reflect. The highs of each day seem to be in the morning, when I put on my back pack and think wow I can carry my pack again and my aches have subsided, the next high seems to come in the evening when I pull up and think wow I can’t believe I did it, but I did. All the other moments in between include various emotions and thoughts, including I want to throw away my back pack, my walking stick and sit and cry because I have just had enough, I am so over this stupid idea of walking the Camino. While I am walking just a fraction of the walk there is no escape from the fact that it is bloody hard going, especially on those occasions like last night and a couple of nights ago when you are just not sure you can find somewhere to rest your weary body. If you are part of an organized group that will never be an issue, because you know you will walk x amount of km’s and there is a room booked at the other end, but no we had to just walk see where we get to and hope for a bed.
As I have said it is very liberating, your life, well at least everything you need is in your back pack on your back, luxuries are out of the window because you know you have to carry them and believe me, everything counts! When that ankle or knee, calf or thigh starts screaming at you with all it has to stop, sometimes it’s just not an option, thoughts then range from I can’t go on to I just have to get my head down and walk, the inner resolve then rises up, adrenalin kicks in and go on you do. I have moments of hating Spain, the Camino and walking, why the f*#k would anyone want to do this! through to moments of awe as I look at the beauty of creation around me and thank God that I have the opportunity.
The things that bind us in our everyday lives are all put aside, no longer am I concerned with whether my hair is tidy, do I look ok in this, do I care what others think. All of this becomes a little irrelevant and the important things such as the support of those journeying with you and the support you can offer others, I’m hungry can I eat, do we have enough water, and are my feet comfortable, can I make the next step become the important, the here and now, the present is all that matters, the afternoon will bring what it brings and tomorrow, if I bloody well make it, will bring a new day! Buen Camino