Sunshine On My Shoulders Make Me Happy

April 16, 2018

Day 11 on The Camino

This morning we left at 7 AM so that we could incorporate time into our schedule to stop and have a bite to eat.  Me, I made a sandwich out of grocery supplies that I still had on hand… 2018.04.16.004

Making our way out of Lugo this morning was incredible! The sky was blue with a few puffy white clouds and the sun was out!!!!!  Can I get a witness??!?  We ambled through  narrow alleyways and over Rio Mino on an old Roman bridge.  Then enjoyably under the sun’s rays, (though it was still 38 degrees and I was wearing gloves), we walked alongside the river and a very nice community park with tennis courts, swimming pools, a picnic area and health club. To my delight we entered into the woods and it was a fantasy land! The trails were fairly easy, the foliage inviting, the fast-moving Rio Mara meandering in and out of rock formations and fallen trees – it was a stunning and tranquil oasis which we thoroughly enjoyed for about an hour. There were a number of wooden walkways as well as stairways – so much for my eyes to take in!

It was decided that rather than meet up with the other crew from Wayfinding Academy three days from now, we would change our course and  join them in two instead. This required a revision in our course, charting a way to join the El Norte Camino route. Katerina found a great resource and we found that a new directional tool would be our guide –  a green arrow!  La fletcha verde!  Given the time of year, and two choices, we opted for the highway since our alternative was questionable based on our information and a local villager’s recommendation.  She was out with her dog named Ola – which sounds like the Spanish greeting of hello, “hola”!!

I ended up walking a lot by myself today, keeping a struggling and injured team member who is in pain within a watchful distance behind me. I soon lost track of the three in front and so I let my thoughts go inward.

I wanted to give this group Camino thing another shot, almost a “do over“ as it were, because I found that last year I was overly impatient and intolerant, wanting to reach my own goals and test my own abilities, and feeling hindered by the others. I didn’t think I’d want to walk in a group again after that experience and my failure to adapt. Yet when presented with the opportunity in December, after some long, self searching thought, I concluded it was a good chance to further work to improve upon those character defects of mine… 2018.04.16.018

I find this time around that I am feeling challenged about my life knowledge without examination or opportunity for sharing.  It is humbling for me to resist the “urge” – ok, let me be honest, the (very real) “need” to tell my experiences and past that bring me to where I am today.  I want to say, “if you knew this about me”,  “if only you knew that about me”,  “if you knew even a little bit about me you might perhaps understand more my perspective or opinions, but you don’t – nor do you want to”…Humbling.   And I have to accept that there’s not an interest there which is also humbling.   And I believe that I also have to accept that this is OK. But I’m not quite there yet…

Additionally, when walking with the group, one’s “individual” pace and/or preference isn’t always an option or optimal (or so it feels to me).  Today I’m choosing to stay back with one of our group who has painful blisters and soreness. It’s very hard for me to walk slower than my normal pace. But earlier this morning, I thanked God for the example of his son, Jesus Christ, to show me how to be a kind and compassionate person. I thanked Him for the Holy Spirit who is helping to transform me into a more patient and tolerable individual, albeit slowly. And I was struck with the thought that I needed to be a servant today, as Christ demonstrated.  Now here’s my opportunity – funny how that works…  I didn’t expect it to be just like this, but as I walked along the highway looking forward to those in front of me and backward to the one who’s struggling, I see that that’s what’s been put in front of me today. And I need to do it – and I choose to do it from a place of love.  It’s a simple, straightforward undertaking for the moment, but it’s also a metaphor for so much of what life presents me.  

I am also noting that a number of the things that are annoying me on this Camino are actually mirrors of behaviors I have personally  that are difficult to look at – quite glaring in fact. Character traits that I have been working on for years, and I feel like at times, making little progress or improving.  One foot in front of the other, as they say…. My sister-in-law, Di, says that the first week of the Camino is physical, the second is emotional/spiritual.  Yes indeed…

We were amazed in our transition this morning that the green arrows were so prominent and easy to follow. We didn’t enjoy the highway walk that much, but lunch was a good break and then we set off for the forest.  Green arrows in the afternoon, not so much.  I bet you can guess what we did encounter though!  (I will give you a clue, it wasn’t raining).  You guessed it – MORE MUD!!!  We bushwhacked and tried to avoid the massive puddles and hiked up and around, precariously close to barbwire and getting stuck on blackberry vines- but we still ended up ankle deep, swearing and, frankly, spending an hour walking only one kilometer – almost in circles.  We were quite frustrated!!  Thank God the sun continued to shine!! 2018.04.16.015

Ultimately, we made our way in a backtracking kind of way, to the highway once again, and decided to stick with it. We walked another hour plus until we arrived in the town of Friol – 23 kilometers today – and checked into our accommodations for the night – Casa Benigno Rosalía de Castro.  It’s an upgrade from an albergue and it was pleasant to have a nice shower, to unpack our backpacks and to get situated for a relaxing evening. 

Tomorrow we will get up and do it again!

One response to “Sunshine On My Shoulders Make Me Happy”

  1. I’m so proud of you. Such an honor to be your daughter. Love you so much & am so grateful for your example of being such a terrific human! Thank you! (:

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