It has been about a week since completing the Camino de Santiago. It has taken about a week to take in what that might mean to me. I have spent the in between time slowing down, being still and pondering. Which is odd, because I am slowing down from a walking pace. And have done so with a few days of walking along the Scottish northeast coast, and traipsing through the countryside looking for standing stones. It has been quiet, peaceful and its own kind of pilgrimage.
The Camino came with its own pace and its own set of strategies. First, keep your eyes open for yellow arrows, shell monuments or blue tiles with yellow shells to direct you. It takes on a “Where’s Waldo?” quality. These are critical as you use these to direct your pilgrimage towards Santiago. It would be nice if life came with such navigational aids, but maybe it does and we often miss them.
Second, travel in a group, and keep together, sort of. we met a person completing the Camino on their own. I can understand it, but I affirm now that I absolutely would NOT want to do it alone. Having companions on the journey made it more fun, more challenging and more holy. You had a common group of folk, primarily looking for yellow arrows, but even more than that you had people you shared your daily life with. We are presented with scores of people to share our live with, some peripherally and fewer very intimately. Let us become more aware of them, and forsake what they bring to us less frequently.
Third, find something that seems incredibly UNdoable and do it. Not a Nike footwear strategy, but a devoted sense of this is something that could be, should be, would be done if I would just do it. Perhaps it is something as common as going for a long walk in Spain. Perhaps, and more likely, it is something such as caring for those others don’t care for. Perhaps, and most assuredly, it is loving your neighbor. All things only take preparation, and the secret just may be discovering how to prepare. I took up the unlikely sport (for me) of running. What preparation shall I take up for the next unlikely challenge.
These are all thin places.
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