Thursday, June 18, 2015

Further reflections on walking the Camino

I might forever be adding to my further reflections on walking the Camino. Even from five years ago, I have thought about the significance of this journey on an almost daily basis. It makes up the major component of the book on which I have been working.  

People have asked me whether I would consider a third pilgrimage. Halfway through this last one, I would have answered that there was nothing to induce me to do this again; that I was tired both physically and emotionally. Now, I am not so sure. There is something entirely addictive about walking the Camino. 

Seemingly everyday events seem to take on a supra-normal intensity that gnaws at the psyche: a teacher and junior school students interact with sheer delight in each other’s company in a class project in the town square; a human voice raised in song; the curiosity of a child in a darkened cathedral, desperately trying to behave but yet his natural exuberance getting the better of him; tears of gratitude expressed on someone’s face for some small returned favour; a boy walks with his young girlfriend hand-in-hand; a father walks the Camino with his two sons; smiles, hugs and a genuine sense of happiness when reconnecting with pilgrims that you had met earlier and assumed that you would never meet again. These are all human moments.

In normal life back home you may not notice such times, or you take such gestures for granted and give them but a passing thought. It feels good to be observant of human emotion and, perhaps, we crave such times because it helps connect us together in a world so often disconnected to what is important. We have time to observe life and its important moments. This should be our Camino.

Boy and girl walk hand-in-hand

Father and son

Ferdinand:  He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers
Man and his ass

Daughter and father
School children in Ponferrada waving at this possibly mad pilgrim

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