Yes, that is a watermelon in my bag. Technically half a watermelon. I bought it last night for after our broccoli miso soup but we forgot to eat it, and stubbornness took over this morning: no way was I leaving it behind.
So what if watermelons are ‘heavy’?
Genius, Naomi. You are a genius.
I’m putting it down to just another one of my early morning brain spasms, but have made a mental note to NOT try to carry one again. We stopped 10km down the road at a cafe, and I cut it up and passed it to other pilgrims in the cafe/passing by, so it was still nice to share. And it was great to see the look on their faces when they asked WHY I carried it with me?!
I don’t know anymore than you do mate, I obviously wasn’t thinking straight there.
When you leave early in the morning, the world is a different place.
There are no shadows; there just seems to be a glow to things so that you can see – albeit vaguely – where to place your feet, when a corner is coming up, if you need to duck for a low lying branch.
People [generally] walk with a hush; there is an unspoken agreement amongst pilgrims to honour the quiet stillness. We can talk, laugh, banter, sing later – the pre-dawn morning holds awe, beauty, mystery, holiness that you can’t help but agree with and uphold.
Even the smell of the morning is different. It’s fresh; it’s new. A thousand bodies haven’t yet walked down this road today – just a few, including you, and the earth rewards you for it.
Your senses are spoiled with the first fruits of the day; nothing has tainted the earth just yet. This is a true clean slate, and probably why I so love to set out into the darkness before the rest of the world.
This day holds infinite possibilities, and it is up to me how I will respond to every circumstance, conversation, disruption, surprise. In the ‘newness’ of the morning it is easy to remember afresh that I choose the story; or at least, my part in it.
Today, it was along a highway under a sky of stars, then winding with a river through a valley, past farms dotted with horses, through forests so green the world didn’t even look real, headfirst through a herd of cows, then up a mountain. A big mountain. It’s not the biggest of the Camino mountains, but it’s the steepest/longest according to the maps and most people’s opinions. I personally didn’t think so, but that could have been the conversations I was a part of along the way.
Before I left, my Tribe family prayed for me, and quite a few of them spoke words of encouragement, love, exhortation and God’s heart for me as I ventured into the world. I have treasured every prayer and treasure all the more the people behind them (and all those that continue to pray for me, thank you 💕).
A papa in the faith whom I love a lot, told me that he believed people would see me as an angel on their own paths. It touched me deeply and his words have sat just under the surface of my spirit as I’ve walked along, wanting to be intentional in seeing every opportunity to reach out to others. I’d confidently say that his prayers were so special because I’ve often not felt like an angel – much more the opposite. I would never say that about myself, and I have lately realised I probably don’t give myself enough credit deep down authentically, so my heart held his words tight.
Remember Anders from just a few days ago? He has sprained his ankle so I carried his pack, Yannick carried mine, and Anders called us his angels on the Camino? Well he was sitting just up from the foot of the mountain.
I walked up singing, not realising it was him at first, and he called out to me, his ‘angel’.
We talked about his progress and he thanked me all over again for having given him a chance to get this far. I played it down; I seriously just did what I feel anyone would have offered to do – it wasn’t a big thing to me, and ‘angel’ is a pretty big credit.
“You’re famous, you know”, he told me.
I didn’t really understand, and figured he meant he had just been telling a couple people about how I helped him.
“Yes, you’re famous on the Camino. You’re known as the Camino angel.”
He explained a couple days back, he was talking to someone else who knew David (the Australian I helped find a bed for), and a few people have since mentioned I’ve helped them as well in their journeys.
Thank you for those prayers that spoke life and encouragement and belief into me.
I still find it hard to believe that I’ve done anything out of the ordinary; much less to be called a ‘Camino angel’ by anyone. All I do is keep my eyes open for opportunities where I can help or join with their story. I can’t see how my part is especially significant or out of the ordinary, but somehow it must be…
A question I was asked when I started my Camino is, “What is the purpose of your life?” I journaled something similar to, Love Jesus unreservedly, be loved by Him extravagantly, and let His love shine out of me into the world magnificently.
Yesterday, one of my thoughts around being single is, if I am living out that purpose every day, then I am on track.
Of course, I would still rather do this life alongside someone. I can’t wait to have a best friend share in all these moments and memories with me. I am seriously looking forward to that next season! But right now, I am at peace; I am good. I really am sucking the marrow out of this life, as Ricki-Lee put it ❤️😘
If I am even one person’s Camino angel, I must be doing something right.