DAY EIGHT: Finding Life Lessons On The Camino

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My least favorite part of walking the Camino de Santiago has been trekking in and out of the few large cities along the way. It feels like it takes forever to arrive to the sweet spot of the city’s historical center. Your heart swells with joy when you get there, knowing you must repeat the torment all over again just to get out. Your feet relentlessly pounding onto the hard cement surface. Your aching arches longing for the rich and deep soil of the Camino de Santiago. 

As a spectator, the city feels deeply rooted and alive with locals who take the time to celebrate life amongst friends and family. You’re simply the passerby, alone, with all your temporary belongings on your back.                                                                                                  

Walking into Logroño with Luc yesterday was no different on the body and mind, but of course a completely different experience than I had walking into the city five years ago.

“Bloody hell, will we ever get there? My legs are done. But baby, look at me—I’m still moving and I don’t know how I’m doing it,” I said with exhausted out of control laughter, simply for the pure joy of being able to share my pain out loud.

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This morning, walking out of Logroño, I thought deeply about how life is just like walking in and out of one of these big cities on the Camino. 

That we are all on our own independent paths. 

We go through difficult times, and we can feel desperately alone when doing so. At times, like the pain’s never going to end—leaving some of us feeling as though we can literally curl up in a ball and die. But we don’t. We continue to move forward until we finally get to that “sweet spot”; where, and when, we awaken; knowing the pain, the hurt, the suffering and the hard work isn’t going to magically stop. That we must surrender and be patient with the process; knowing it’s only temporary, we WILL get out. Even if it’s a life shattering event—something new, delightful and different is awaiting us on the other side. By having the strength to continue, by getting out of that so-called city, we bravely walk back into the wonderful and colorful unknown. 

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You and I, as beautiful souls; who came here to learn and grow; surviving yet another one of life’s lessons; leaving us stronger for braving through it. 

And at times, simply accepting what is. 

Like my body. The reality is, I’ll always be in great pain. It is what it is. I can’t stay curled up in a ball. I won’t. I have to move, feel and live every moment to its absolute fullest while I still can. 

These were the thoughts and feelings that filled my head and heart this morning as I walked out of Logroño twenty feet ahead of Luc—who was cranky. I felt more and more empowered with each step; knowing the rich Camino soil would soon be under my feet to once again remind me of how it feels to get to the other side.

I needed space today to revel in the lessons I find on the Camino de Santiago. Luc was off in his own independent thoughts, not having one of his better days physically.

So, we walked, and walked and walked until we arrived at the much welcomed pensión where we’re retiring for the night. The ironic thing is, they had us in separate rooms. 

Pensión Posada Ignatius in Navarrete.

Pensión Posada Ignatius in Navarrete.

As though they knew. 

So we laughed, shared our pain and acted like twin siblings that adored each other, but had enough. 

No Luc sound effects and involuntary body movements for me tonight! 

I’m right where I want to be at this moment in time: close to the man I love, but not too close. ;)