From Just Do It to Just Do Right! The Camino’s got dis babe! (Copy and paste this link to understand what I’m on about – https://youtu.be/bxrV2J_OjGo – sorry – can’t figure out how to hyperlink from phone)
No visits from any deceased Foncebadon residents in the night and so I awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to hike up to Cruz de Fierro for the sunrise. I hadn’t been taking this Cruz de Fierro ritual very seriously this year, I knew it was coming up but didn’t have a stone.
That’s easy to do when you’re not walking with the intention of healing or carrying a past burden and so I was surprised to see people on the pile of stones holding hands, some clearly very emotional. I’d forgotten why I came here the first time, why I walked the camino and why I left my own stone. I’ve been so caught up in the fitness aspect and the natural beauty and getting in the miles and chatting with all the new people over communal dinners the spiritual aspect had become secondary. Today I got a beautiful reminder and it’s changed my outlook on my random unimportant km targets from ‘Just do it’ back to ‘Just do right’ – the philosophy I left the last Camino with.
Once you get past Cruz de Fierro, the scenery becomes magical. Here you’re at the highest point of the camino and you have a sense of being on top of the world. The air is so crisp and thick with scents of wild flowers, even the light seems different. It’s here that any obsession with ETAs, calories, kms or any outward metric lose all meaning and your internal self takes over, the beauty in nature up here can’t help but inspire you.
What am I on about? Before I left London I was talking to a friend who is fairly unhappy with his life and we were talking about the camino. He mentioned how he would love to ‘find god’ but as a non-believer who is clearly craving something, what I think he means is find an inner serenity, he’s an anxious but wonderful and talented man.
I can never find the words to explain to him what it means to find God/peace/your self (there is a world of lexicon here so let’s not go there). However walking among this beauty today, totally alone, I think I have a hint at it, an anecdote/example to share so as he may understand what I’m always on about and help him find some peace.
When I walk the camino, especially in the mountains, you experience vistas so amazingly beautiful that they make you stop – in my old life – I’d want to turn to someone and experience them together. I’d have felt it a shame if I saw it alone, it would have left me a bit sad and anxious, like it was a waste. I remember feeling an aching sense of loneliness in beauty or good news in the past. Today, and since finding some peace on the Camino two years ago, I have never felt that way again about anything – that loneliness – like only another person sharing a great experience can make it complete or magical. The scenery (and everything!) is perfect exactly how it is, it is complete and fine as it is and so am I. I hope that makes sense to someone! Basically, I never feel alone since finding inner peace.
This is of course what all biblical texts and new age literature speak of; about ‘not being alone’ when you believe in god or in a new age way of thinking, when you’ve learned to love yourself like Whitney told us! It’s so annoying that all the truths of the world are just out there and I just haven’t taken the time to understand them and instead have to embark on daily marathons to find the truth! 😉
The descent from Cruz de Fierro to El Acebo is 10kms of picking your way thru rocks and boulders and if you don’t have decent boots you’ll get a blister as I now have in my daft orange Asics. The descent to Molinaseca is the same! Basically it’s 20km of trekking pole slalom. From Molinaseca to Ponferrada is 8kms on solid pavement to end the foot torture for the day.
Other than that of course – it was bloody marvellous. Besos.