Day 21: 16.5 km’s
Today’s reflection: The beauty of discovery / Winter walking….
❤️ It is morningtime, and I sit at the bar in Cerro Muriano, glancing outside hesitantly as I do the double breakfast. Part of me is procrastinating because what I see is rainy, cold weather…….. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr! There is a way that I want, no, I need to walk today, and I am not just talking about the path itself, I am talking about a headspace. Trying to find the joy in winter walking is what the camino is asking from me today. Embracing the not knowing is what it challenges me to engage with. Turning perceived discomfort on its head and seeking pleasure in the apparently unpleasurable……..I set out from the bar, and ok, it isnt raining that much, so that is good. It is cold though, but no matter, it doesnt take the body long to warm up. Today I decide to listen to music- I start off listening to piano- the likes of Dustin O’Halloran and some harpsichord pieces by Patricia Mabee. This music immediately connects me with the winter vibe all around in that it takes me within myself. I walk along the camino for the day, tucked inside warm clothes, a warm body, a merino beanie, those cheap arsed faux-fur lined gloves I bought in Beijing, goretex shoes……..tucked inside my thoughts.
Winter is a time for rest, recuperation, gathering energy, staying still. Coming down to the essence, inspecting it, getting ready to build on it when the season changes. The bare trees announce this to me as I walk past. I move, but the winter brings a stillness inside.
I walk past a eucalyptus tree, and, stopping to hold a massive leaf in my hand and with Dustin O’Halloran in my ears, I time travel back to Australia. Tears spring into my eyes -pushed upwards by the music. They join forces with the oh-so-gentle rain that is falling and I am momentarily awash with nostalgia (which buggers off pretty quickly, ultimately leaving a trace of something that I cant quite put my finger on, colouring the rest of my day with vaguely wistful thoughts).
Praise Jesus!!! The arrows seem to have recovered from their erratic mental health issues and are now once again guiding me faithfully. Perhaps foolishly, I begin to trust them. So much so, that I dont even get the written guide out once, succumbing to the temptation to simply allow the days walk to unfold, bringing with it a precious sense of adventure and not knowing. In a world of calculations and probabilities and instant banks of information, it is sometimes hard to live with a sense of adventure, and to actually feel alive. Yet, today that is what I am able to connect with, and I am able to do it because there is a path that someone took the time to mark with arrows, and because I have done my part by carving out the time to simply put one foot in front of the other, making the not knowing a priority -knowing that it is safe, but still not knowing the details of where I am going to walk (in terms of uphills, downhills, slopes, surfaces etc).
Then there are the random curiosities that emerge along the way today, like the well-dressed man with the long umbrella that I see confidently walking backwards down the street. Now that is a person who knows how to engage with the not knowing in an original way!!
As a woman, I relish this space of discovery and adventure. This, in itself, is an interesting discovery to be making about myself after 46 years of life and so many years of travelling. The music shifts into Siouxie and the Banshees, New Order, and Disclosure, leading me into a jolly mood, where I practically dance (on the insde) my way into Cerro Muriano four hours later. A damned good day. Happy to be alive ❤️
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