Notes from Richard on the Camino
After being away from the Camino de Santiago for a bit, I feel the need to jot down my thoughts about the experience and to share them. Before I continue any further I must say up front that I enjoyed the experience and learned allot about not just me but about my relationships with people and things. I began the journey with the attitude that it was going to be a “walk in the park” and just that. I was so surprised to find out that it wasn’t. I also thought that more than minimal training is all that I would need and if more was needed the Camino is where I would develop my strength. The Camino works not only on your body but equally on your spirit.
My hubris as always was my Achilles heel, and once again it would get the best of me. I was humbled and awed at the same time on an almost daily basis. During the 40 days that we traveled I came to realize that doing a Camino is a solo experience. One has to figure out the day-to-day logistics while engaging with not just others but mostly oneself. You see, when I walked everyday on the Camino the need to control became my fools game and an “ah ha” moment for me. I had no control and when I chose to live only in the moment which may seem simple but is forever changing and complicated; things became as they should be for me. This experience changed me and definitely made a great impact on how I feel about the world around me. I am so honored and fortunate to be able to have these types of experiences. When I was able to give up my control or my idea of control and realize that this need was pulling me down not only physically but emotionally everything changed. You see the Camino always gives you what you need and I needed a good dose of reality. Not that I will stop being concerned about others but just knowing that believing that I should have this type of control was crazy. By this control I mean obsessively worrying about other’s safety, happiness, etc.
Walking or trying to walk 500 miles with a back pack is not for everyone. I would not even recommend it unless one feels the urge. But, if you do then go for it and there are many ways to do it as in your own life which will always be the right way. One will learn one’s limits and will do the Camino at one’s own pace. The Camino is mostly a solitary experience which can be shared somewhat but experienced better alone and maybe life is the same way - we live and share but ultimately we are alone.
Even though I am considered to be an extrovert and believe I am, I have come to appreciate quiet and less of a need to state my positions or my viewpoints. The time on the Camino for daily thoughts and opinions morphs with so much time to think and what became clear to me was how I could never again judge another. We have had similar physical challenges in the past, but this one was truly a gift and one that I will never forget. My Camino now begins everyday for the rest of my life. As with so many of our adventures Susan has been the one to come up with the idea. I am so thankful for her joy and gusto for life and the willingness to take the chance to experience and grow. I hope to always be willing and able to enjoy the challenges that life brings.
Those of you who have read Susan’s blog know the rest and if you have any questions please feel free to ask me. I am always happy to share my feelings.
On lighter note - things one must not do:
- 1. If you sit on your Kindle it will break.
- 2. Spend money for good fitted socks or you will spend a fortune trying to fix your feet.
- 3. Ibuprofen is a stock that I which I bought years ago.
- 4. When you finish a Camino stop traveling and breathe just breathe.
- 5. With every pound you carry on your back you will pay a price as you do with negative feelings.
- 6. Realize that in life we are all on a Camino but just may not be aware of it.
- 7. It is not the destination but the journey even through the end can be very pleasant.
- 8. Coffee is a drug and when you stop drinking it your head will hurt.
- 9. Sometimes rain is more enjoyable then sun and heat.
- 10. Always drink plenty of water.
- 11. Most of all never think you are better than anybody else.
- 12. At the end of the day playing with your stuff (back pack things) can be fun especially when it all that you have.
- 13. Technology for me is always fun and the I Touch kept us in touch with you all.
|A choice stone in a choice place|