My Camino Story pt 7

Note: Sorry for the delay: took a while to get this post written. This will be a slightly longer post, but covers two days during which I walked pretty much exclusively with Anna, hand in hand, talking to her until we reach Najera, when things start to change.  I have little written about these two days and the photographs are few and far between but from the bits I can remember or have been told  about I think I stepped into a world I wanted to exist, needed to exist…

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Hands…

“When we want something, we have to have a clear purpose in mind for the thing that we want. The only reason for seeking a reward is to know what to do with that reward”

Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

28th October  Los Arcos – Logrono

Everyone is feeling the strain of the pace today and a small group, including Matt, have decided to have a rest day and take a taxi to the next stop.  Paul, Karen and Angela left early, very early, this morning  so Anna  and I gratefully leave our bags with Matt to take on for us and head out for the day, very  light of step…

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Paul Karen and Angela leave a message to the world…

Most of our walking today is on natural paths, through some of the loveliest countryside I have seen anywhere (my diary entry just reads “Paradise?” ) and that is how I remember the walking and talking with Anna, she tells me about her life her childhood and difficult marriage, how her growing understanding as a child, of the earth and its relationship with heaven, helped her understand her purpose on the planet, how she walks the Camino regularly, when called to so, how she knew from her calling that she would meet someone important on this trip…

(Paul reminded me the other day about the time he came down in the night, at one of the Albergues and found Anna and I just staring into each other’s eyes, not seeing anything or anyone else, we stood like that for some time…. oblivious to everything else … lost…intoxicated…)

Anna told me about how she worked, using the teachings of Byron Katy and the Family Constellation work of Bert Hellinger, to heal the hurt in the world. Nothing in Anna’s life was without significance, if my ankle hurt; it was a symptom of old emotional pain that was calling for attention, for work… pain killers and massage were only ever going to mask and hide the true cause of the pain. The idea that the Camino could be a “holiday” was alien to her.

I talked a lot about my family, my relationship with my father, and my then strained relationship with my children…

And she helped me, in the middle of paradise under the humid Autumn sky, she helped me, to see there was a way to put myself forward for solutions, to risk, to ask for help and receive help, I didn’t need to walk alone…

She didn’t need to walk alone…

captivated…

We are crossing the boundary into  into La Rioja region of Spain, I have walked for nearly a hundred miles I cannot remember not walking, I feel amazing…

…Elevated.

When we arrive at the Albergue, Matt has cooked an astounding range of curries  he has spent the day in Logrono’s markets buying the spices and ingredients and has been cooking all day it is truly a meal fit for angels we are blessed.

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The League of Nations

There is such a feeling of joy around the table I always remember the animation of everyone the talking and laughter, arguing points, learning about other countries, sharing, being… around the table are Americans, Germans, Hungarians, Chinese, Dutch, Australians and of course the mad dogs, the Englishmen enjoying the freedom under midday sun.

 29th October Logrono – Najera

Pretty much everyone goes by the bus today.  Only Anna , I and a German pilgrim called Jana walk (out of our large group) This is a long stage which climbs of 800 ft over 18 mile some of it steep, all of it up…

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Pilgrim Walker 

By this time, I am really feeling at home, I want nothing more that to stay and complete the Camino and then just see what happens…It’s scary to feel this free, but I am convinced that I have found my home, I will work with Anna, help people along the Camino like John was doing, and then? what will happen next?  I have stopped worrying about tomorrow, today I am walking,  tomorrow, god willing,  I will pull my boots on and walk again… as Julian of Norwich (the 14c Christian Mystic) said “All will be well and all manner of things will be well” for the  first time in my life I feel like I’m truly living this.

The evening I decided to go on the Camino I was round at Matt’s house and we heard the song “Through The Roof ‘n’ Underground” by  the band Gogol Bordello the lyric cemented the idea of taking an unusual step when things are feel tough…

When there’s a trap set up for you

In every corner of this town

And so you learn the only way to go is underground

When there’s a trap set up for you

In every corner of your room

And so you learn the only way to go is through the roof

I was really enjoying the sense that this spiritual journey was bringing me such an amazing experience, I had never dreamed that I would spend the Camino walking with such an interesting and enlivening Woman, I remember singing this song as we walked the red earth of Rioja, hand in hand listening to Anna tell me stories of angels on earth and the paths of destiny that are manifest in our lives…  can I really step free… into a world of this much magic? I believe I can…

We are around 8 miles from Najera  when we catch up with the Jana, she is struggling, as we are, to make good time today so we walk with her for a while.  We stop for a drink in a small cafe about 4 miles from the Albergue and I talk to Jana about Paulo Coelho, she has never heard of him, so I give her my copy of “The Pilgrimage” realising at that moment, that  was why I had it with me, to give to her and we head out again…

I remember that soon after we lay down in the grass at the side of the road to watch the sunset,  Jana stayed for a little while but suddenly leaves,  while we stay to watch the sun sink in the pink sky into this red land.

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We stumble through the streets of Najera, half an hour later, unable to see the arrows and scallop shells that mark the way, instead reliant on the kindness of the local people who simply show us on our the way… I am seeing angels everywhere…

There is a lovely cooked meal again, but tonight there is a slight atmosphere at the table and after explaining that it is probably my feet, Paul and Matt take me to one side, in seriousness… people are worried about me, they miss me, I laugh but I can tell they are serious and something about their tone compels me to listen  but I’m too exhausted to discuss it, I’m fine I say…

…I’m just realising who I am again…

I don’t tell them that I have realised I am an angel…

 

 

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