BLOG POST #7 – Aug 20-26th
One of the most amazing things about backpacking the Camino, is realizing how little we actually need to be happy. I am not talking about the 25 to 30lbs of ‘stuff’ we carry on our backs from village to village either, although we did ship about 8 to 10 lbs (between us) on to Santiago to lighten our burden.
What I am talking about is not bought in a store or carried in our packs. It is seeing a familiar pilgrim face or two after a couple days, and greeting each other like long, lost family. A cold glass of water filled to the brim with ice, and offered with a smile at the end of dusty, hot, long hike is heaven in a glass. A clean bathroom with toilet paper when we need it, just makes our day. A bottom bunk in the Albergue, next to the window, with a slight breeze brings stinging tears to our eyes.
Part of what makes our travels meaningful, is dealing with challenges that come up, like blisters and swollen feet, or forgetting to top off our water bottles in the last village or having to return to the little store at the TOP of the hill to retrieve the forgotten and coveted walking poles.
It is also meeting new friends from all over the world including Romania, Scotland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Canada, Armenia, The Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, Ireland, Australia, and even Florida, Louisiana, Arizona and Ohio, with whom you have at least one thing in common (the Camino) and realize they really aren’t that different from folks back home.
Our Camino days consist of walk, eat, sleep….and then we do it again. There is plenty of time to reflect on what to be grateful for. We are grateful we are able to share this journey together after 42 years and still have a sense of humor at the end of the day. Dan said this morning that we are ‘poetry in motion’. I will remind him of this the next time he is frustrated with me. I am sure it will go over well.
We are grateful for friends and family who believe in us and cheer us on. Reading your encouraging comments and seeing your ‘likes’ on our post in Facebook at the end of the day, renews our strength daily and gives us determination to keep walking ‘the way’ of the Camino.
Unlike us, not all pilgrims are as blessed to have such beautiful friends and family who believe in them, support, and voice encouraging words. Although most of the time they are unrecognizable in outward appearance, their inner souls have been bruised and battered by lifes harsh realities. So we are mindful to encourage all who cross our path. We will continue to show them kindness and greet them like long, lost family when we run into them from time to time on the Camino, because they are us and we are them.