I finished the post and didn´t even mention”Faith on the Camino” Faith – The confidence or trust in the belief of a person, place or thing.
The experience on the Camino is an experience of FAITH. Each day we have faith in our bodies serving us to walk. We have faith in the “Waymarkings”. Can you imagine for 800km that there is some kind of waymark, that indicates the Way of St James to Santiago Compestela. Examples of waymarks: classic is the 3 feet high, cement rectangle with a concha (scallop shell) tile embedded in it, like a small monument along the Way often times with an addition arrow painted on it. In the cities there are brass seashells embedded in the sidewalks or tile squares with shells plastered on buildings. Arrows, arrows and many more arrows. Picture school bus yellow and these arrows are everywhere marking the way; on trees, logs, telephone poles, guardrails, and curbstones, on houses in small villages, on walls, roads, sidewalks, and park benches and on churches. Yes, this caught me by surprise. An ancient church in the town square had a yellow arrow pointing the way. Think about this. In any given day, from the first day, sometimes hundreds in a day, we have faith in the yellow arrows pointing the Way to Santiago.
We have faith in the albergues. Once our bunks are chosen, we unpack our back packs. All of zip loc bags are toss onto the bunk and head for the shower and then into town. Never have we ever had anything less than faith that when we return all is there. Our boots are often stored on shelves outside the dormitory. Yes they are there in the morning. Walking poles are put in a barrel for our retrieval in the morning.
Standing at a crossroads and not sure which way to go (sometimes we may have been lost in thought or conversation and missed a waymark), we have faith that without even asking, a local Spaniard, will point the way or maybe another pilgrim saw us miss the mark.
Faith has been comforting on the Camino.
Over dinner we were planning our final days and distances into Santiago and realise we had made an error on our expected arrival day. So the real arrival will be Saturday, Aug 13th for a total of 32 days to walk the Camino. Surprisingly, I accepted the extra day quite well.
Getting back to Audrey who asked Emily and I to describe the Camino expereince in one word. Already, those who know me will know that one word will be a challenge. Well Audrey, we did reflect on your question and at this time we feel that there have been 2 words to describe the Camino for the different stages of the Camino and both were suggested by Emily and I agreed. At the beginning of our pilgrimage the word is RHYTHM: establish a rhythm of walking, packing, planning, eating, sleeping. Our second word is EMPOWERMENT: once the rhythm is set, knowledge was acquiredthrough experience that we had the confidence and strength; both physically and emotionally to successfully complete the Camino. We feel EMPOWERED. And it is a great feeling! Now in our final third of the Camino, we´ll have to reflect more. I think it will come to us this week as we near Santiago. I also imagine once our pilgrimage is complete, then we maybe we will be able to describe the pilgrimage in one word.I think that it will be a challenge. I wonder then if we will agree on the same word???
So….7 days to go!!
Buen Camino and mucho amor,
Donna and Emily xoxo