Today was my 6th day walking. My odometer is bumping 100 miles and my feet are showing the signs of wear & tear. The inevitable small blisters have started to pop up on my right heel, so it’s sewing needle, Neosporin and Compeed bandages tonight. It was very chilly leaving my inn and I had several looks of disbelief from locals that I was walking in shorts. Only the stupid American, yes? Mid walk the sun rose above the mountainside, the wind subsided (some), and the day became glorious. It was 2/3 along and in view of the ocean and 1/3 inland and up & down grades. Although today was <15 miles, it felt longer as I had several steep climbs and just about as many steep descents. I know the pictures I’ve sent and most of the summaries have been about the beauty and solitude, but make no mistake about it…these Camino walks are extremely challenging. Do one and you’ll see.
I stopped into a rare open church today, just 5 minutes after starting my walk, and had some prayer time for my journey today. My intention was to have a long talk with God about…me. This was the primary reason I’ve come back for Camino 2.0. It’s hard to get unrequited time alone with the Lord in our fast paced world. This is the best place I’ve found for such solitude and focus.
Many pilgrims have asked me if I’m going to be staying at X or Y hostel in the next town, and I always reply ‘no, I grew up in a hostel with 10 brothers & sisters…no more bunk beds for me’. You always wonder how you became who you are; what shaped your personality and views. Our parents are the ones who tell us these stories of our youth, and one always resonates with me from my Mom. She claims that I never spoke a word until almost 2 years old, choosing to listen and study those doing the talking. Then she says our neighbor back in the day, named Mrs. Magnus, called her one day and said there was a knock on her door, and when she opened it saw no one, but then looked down to see this 2 year old who said “Good morning Mrs. Magnus. How are you today”? She told my Mom she thought I was an adult midget, that I sounded so grown up. I guess my sales career was born that day, as no one has since accused me of being ‘too quiet’. I’ve taken personality tests when in the corporate world, and always trend to the introvert side of center. I can turn on the charm when required but my true nature is lone wolf independent. I see that when walking these caminos. I love visiting when the day is done and the walking is over, but purposefully avoid lengthy interactions when on the move, preferring to walk at my pace with my thoughts. Today delivered on that front, so I had uninterrupted time with God.
It’s only been recently through the insights gained in our discipleship group that I’ve truly come to realize what my purpose is. It’s the same purpose you have…all of us for that matter. To love God above all else and our neighbors as ourselves. That is TRUTH. It’s also very, very hard and I fall short of the mark frequently. I thanked God for the many blessings He’s given me…my health, wealth, wife & children, church, friends…but mostly His gift of salvation. So today when I looked out to the massive sea, realizing how insignificant I am, I was humbled by the beauty He has provided us all. Thank you Lord. I will try harder to please You by following your commandments.
A man walking his goat herd through town. Precious!