Truth on the Camino

Every Camino begins the same.  I find myself feeling awkward and out of place.  It seems that no matter where I start, everyone already has found their friends and their own pace.  Arriving late at the albergue in Cizur Menor on my first night only heightened that feeling.  Everyone was together eating dinner but I felt too tired to join in.  Maybe tomorrow.

Every time I start too fast, trying to outpace my thoughts and this Camino was no different.  I remember that my past experiences on the Camino, if not always profound, are always meaningful.  The sense of awe at finally seeing the ocean on my walk to Finisterre is a feeling that will stay with me forever.  My surprise at connecting deeply with a fellow pilgrim after a few minutes of conversation gives me a sense of hope.  But I have a nagging feeling that I am expecting too much this time.

Sooner or later my body adjusts, my pack feels more comfortable and my aches and pains are familiar.  The physical adjustment usually takes a matter of days but my mind needs more time.  For this Camino it is a week or so, just after Burgos, before the noise in my head fades into the beauty of the path in front of me and I find my rhythm on the openness of the meseta.

Truths that I know deep down surface as the distractions of daily life subside.  Things I know and feel but can’t find the words to articulate take form in my mind creating a mantra of sorts as I walk.

The truths are different every time just like I am different. This time I hear over and over in my head, “All that I want and deeply desire, I already have.”  It is something I have never doubted but had just never said aloud.

A part of me that lies dormant so much of the time wakes at this thought.  The time to listen and to evaluate, to trust and to try, reminds me of who I am and who I might become.  Identity is something I often chase when what I really need to do is stop and revel in the adventure all around me.

There is a deep-seated peace I find in this truth that encourages me to live like I walk- without fear or hesitation.

michael snyder