This Camino has been a bit different than the last time I walked in Spain. Two years ago I thought I would write poetry or memoir about my experiences, but this time I’m just letting myself live in the moment.
I walk alone most of the time, but every once in a while I’ll meet up with someone who wants to talk, and so I listen. One girl from Canada shared a quote from Plato: “Be tender, because we all have battles to fight.”
There’s a saying on the Camino that “the Camino provides.” People refer to this saying as a way of accounting for the little miracles that seem to happen along the way.
For example, a woman whose hip was too sore to walk the last three miles to town happened to meet up with a young man who offered to drive her the rest of the way.
Another example happened with me and the Canadian girl, Miranda. She had passed me earlier in Cirueña ( a bleak town with zero charm). But after leaving the town and returning to the gravel road, I saw her sitting on the ground.
I recognized her black hair gathered in a top knot. Even though two other women had already stopped to help her, something drew me to her. She told me her feet were in pain, and I realized it was because she was walking in old trainers.
The day before, I had just mailed my boots back to the US because they were hurting my feet, but I kept the insoles for some reason. I don’t know why, because they wouldn’t fit the new shoes I bought.
Right away I pulled the orange shock absorbing insoles out f the bottom of my pack. My stuff was on the ground next to Miranda while she trimmed the toe part to make it fit. We walked together for about three miles and her feet felt great.
I don’t think the Camino has magical powers more than any other path in life, but when we are all walking together, we end up making the little miracles happen. It’s a matter of noticing, of caring for each other, wherever we are.