It has been a humbling (and healing) experience to honestly listen to my own inner thoughts, and then respond. This morning as I was walking out of Sarria those thoughts took on a surprisingly judgmental tone. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, Sarria is the point at which LOTS of people begin their Camino journey (just prior to the 100km mark). As a result the street out of town was PACKED with brand new peregrinos. They were chattering. They were blocking the way while they did calisthenics. They were excited. And I was starting to get crabby. They were interfering with my peaceful Camino experience.
It was about then (fortunately) that I managed to eavesdrop on my thought process, and almost immediately my thoughts began to shift. Camino School was in session, and I was ready for another lesson.
The first new awareness that arrived was related to the source of their excitement. It was their first day! Of course they were excited. I remembered my own first day, 34 days prior. It is all new and unknown and holds such amazing promise. Being excited is simply part of the package. Then I became aware of another layer of my thoughts. “Why are they even here?” It was painful to acknowledge how profoundly selfish my thoughts were. I had the right to be here, and they did not! But the good news is that I actually heard myself and made the conscious choice to at least attempt to change course.
Healing can begin to happen if and when we allow ourselves to be open and present to the moments as they arrive.
And then, as a bonus, one more learning opportunity surfaced. Even after the excited chattering faded, the first couple of kilometers were still filled with lots of peregrinos walking the path. Though I was no longer in danger of falling into the judgmental crabby trap, I still found myself distracted. It was challenging to find my rhythm. But I kept going. I walked the speed I walk, which tends to be slightly faster than most, but also slower than others. And gradually, without even being aware that it was happening (at first), the crowd had dispersed and I was walking in relative peace. There were a few peregrinos in front and behind, but very spaciously dispersed. And it was in that moment that a phrase floated to the surface of my awareness. “When I walk my pace, I find my place.” Just being myself, listening to my body and my heart, allows me to naturally discover my own true rhythm. And when that happens then I am where I need to be, meeting who I need to meet, having the experiences I need to have.
The Camino magic can be powerful. I’m grateful that at least occasionally I pay enough attention to notice.