Sometimes it’s the little things.
Sharing Vegemite with four unwilling and ungrateful friends (I don’t get what their problem was? I grew up on that black spreadable goodness! 😉).
Walking through the cathedral square and being greeted nine, eleven, more! times by pilgrims I have walked with or met along the Way.
Having Burger King for lunch again.
Being told I can leave any extra luggage in the hostel for as long as I want for free (so the next ten days will be down to the real essentials; I’ve learned what I can do without, even in my 8kg pack).
Buying a new towel.
Every day has gold when you look for it.
I think I am looking at the world differently. I can’t put my finger on what specifically has changed, but something has.
A few of us were talking this morning about how this is the kind of experience you can never really communicate to someone who has not lived through it. Not in an arrogant way; it’s just one of those things.
I’ve said it many, many times already, and will repeat it countless times over again: I am so grateful for this.
Each of the goodbyes are hard. My legs still ache. I miss having bare feet in the shower. There’s an internal battle between walking my own pace or matching someone else’s for the sake of friendship. The tan lines get to me. I never get to stay long enough in one place to fully explore or appreciate it.
But I wouldn’t change a thing.
This journey is like no other – both in the good and not so good.
And I lap it up.
I was asked the other day, “Have you found the answer to ‘the question’ you came with?”
A lot of people do come here searching for answers; that’s what led me to the Camino in the first place – I was desperately seeking more when I sought out the Camino originally. More of God, more joy, more depth, more peace, more understanding of why this life is worth all the pain and struggles along the way.
But instead of finding this ‘more’ on the Way to Santiago, life – Jesus – led me to New Earth Tribe and they surrounded me and helped me find it right where I was.
After I found my freedom in God, the door opened for me to walk this walk.
And so there I was exactly one month ago: not with a question, but excited and anticipating a magical adventure with my Jesus.
And here I am now: not with an answer, but with one very magical adventure indeed.
A million magical moments have written this story. Too many names to count have etched themselves into my heart. Sunrises, sunsets, fields, mountains, rivers, jokes, songs, tortillas, alarms, Vicks, showers, blisters, vino, pasta, tears, laughter… So much life crammed into thirty one days.
So many memories that whisper and remind me that every day is a new blank page:
All you did here was walk and embrace fully all that was presented to you along the Way.
Keep doing that, Naomi.
Don’t fear a lack of adventure. Find the adventure in every moment: if you can have this life just by walking, you can have it anywhere, anytime.
Another chapter begins tomorrow.
I continue walking. I’ve got time and my feet aren’t completely worn out just yet (not like my sandals.. Velcro Slippers MK III coming soon!), so I’m going to continue to the coast. And then keep continuing up the coast.
May as well round this off to a full thousand kilometres, right?
This stretch will be a different one, I’m sure.
Here’s to holding onto all we have walked through, and to all we have yet to walk into.