Back on the Road – to Hospital de Orbigo
And Another Camino ‘Moment’
I’ve tried to take it easy today to give my legs a bit of a break so it’s been slow and easy.
And of course more chances to reflect.
At lunch yesterday in Leon, I was sharing some Camino stories with three other guys that I have met off and on over the last couple of weeks. Wrenchy, Gray and Jack. And we all came to the conclusion that sharing these stories with someone who hasn’t walked the Camino, who hasn’t gone through the physical, emotional and spiritual journey, is sometimes very difficult.
There are just little things that happen day by day that never cease to surprise me.
One such moment is today.
I won’t describe the moment, because you’ll probably think I’ve become a raving lunatic! (But picture the final scene of the last Samurai and the Cherry Blossom…..)
But let me just say it was a moment of extreme peace and calm and in that moment, I felt re energized to continue my journey all the way to Santiago. ‘Someone’ was urging me on….
Note. I later decided to add this ‘Camino Moment’ at the bottom of the page…..
But I won’t push my luck! The days of 30 kilometer stages I think need to come to an end. My body just can’t handle those and it doesn’t recuperate.
So I’m making sure that all my stages from here to Santiago are generally about 20 kilometers with the occasional 25 and 26.
There is a lovely saying that John Brierley uses in his Camino guide, “Trust in God, but tether your camel.” I guess by that the original author is saying have faith, but don’t push your luck. 🙂
I was re-reading my blog, reliving some of the experience and thought you might like to hear this Camino moment.
I was in a small village about an hour before Hospital de Orbigo. It was one of those days. I had walked alone all day and I was feeling sorry for myself a bit. I missed my wife Pat. But I think the main reason was, I just hurt. Even with the rest day and physio in Leon, my feet were hurting and I couldn’t get rid of the pain in my shins.
Two things shook me out of this ‘funk’.
ONE. (My Feet Hurt)
I was sitting a café in a village called Villavante I think. I was sipping my coffee, with my boots off and ice on my heels. Starting to feel better. There were just a few cycling Pilgrims at the café. As I was preparing to leave, pulling my socks and boots on, something caught my eye on the right side. Along the Camino back towards Leon. Someone had just turned the corner to arrive in front of the café.
He was middle aged, with an interesting design of long socks. Oh, but the socks did not match. In fact only one leg had a sock. Then the penny dropped as he got closer. His left leg was an artificial one…..
It was one of those reality check moments……. I felt so foolish and selfish worrying about my aching heels and painful shins. What a tosser I was! Just that small moment was another one of those great lessons that the Camino throws at us every day.
I left the café vowing never to fall into a selfish funk like that again….
TWO: (The Cherry Blossom)
It must only have been 20 minutes after leaving the café. I had taken what I think is an ‘alternate route’ to Hospital de Orbigo. That, along with the fact that it was later in the day, meant I was totally alone on the path. A fine gravel track, that lacked markings. But I was sure I was headed the right way. Though I did a quick check on Google maps just to be sure 🙂
I was feeling a lot better now. More positive. More determined. And committed to not ‘over thinking’ things.
I paused for a moment to admire a beautiful tree. Sadly I’m not sure what kind of tree is was. But it was covered in gorgeous pink blossoms. Just like the Cherry Blossoms in that final scene from the last Samurai….
Whilst the day was fine, it was cloudy, and the air was very still.
I decided to pause for a moment of reflection as I frequently did. I took my pack off and knelt down on the track. I spoke out loud a sincere thank you for teaching me another valuable lesson today and for allowing me to continue this journey. I just felt go grateful in that moment.
I paused, before rising to put my pack back on. And just then, through an opening in the clouds the sun shone down changing the feeling of the whole day and illuminating this beautiful tree and a breeze whipped up and cascaded a whole cloud of cherry blossom down over me and the path.
With tears rolling down my face and a new spring in my step……..I headed the final hour into Hospital de Orbigo.
Note: This type of Camino moment was not an isolated incident for me. And I spoke to others who had similar experiences. Don’t expect these moments to happen, but if you walk with an open mind and an open heart, they often do..
I might add a couple more.
Though I’m sure you can appreciate why I was somewhat hesitant to share them 🙂 I assure you I am quite sane!