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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Steady and sturdy me

I'm not sure that I've ever before realized how powerful, resilient and mysteriously strong we humans are, much, much more than I've ever known or even dreamed. We've walked close to eight miles for five days in a row, and have no ill effects save a few blisters that modern band aids seem to fix to near perfection. Yes, there are steep hills and long stretches where thoughts loop on the question 'are we there yet?' And, it's true, my maintenance does require rest, water, food, wine, chocolate and more important than all, companionship and friends, and in my fortunate case, family. But, all in all, I'm amazed at the rhythms and steady patterns of our walking together, the sounds of our boots and sticks that send our bodies forward, these elegant, mysterious tools that march confidently onward, our feet and legs. There are other surprises. The unexpected vistas and tree lined paths, streams and rivers, the perfect cafe con leche just when you need it, the frollicking lambs just beyond the road, the ladies who pause from their chores to peruse the parade of today's stream of hikers. There's also the surprise of strangers turned friends who you run into over and over. This journey is teaching me that there are people of a certain stripe, from the earth's four corners, willing to trudge, slog, hike, race, meander like us, across half of Spain, in search of something ineffable but valuable nonetheless. Our common goal of walking the Camino unites us, brings us energy to continue to Santiago de Campostela. For some, the goal is to arrive, for others it is the journey. I think along the way of what I want to do with this gift of life. I have no idea if this hike along The Way will lead me closer to any answers.Thus far on the road, I find a growing appreciation of my physical endurance, and that is gift enough for the entire experience.

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