This actually ended up as our longest day on the Camino: 16.75 miles. It’s amazing to think that in two days we’ve walked over 30 miles! And the feel of today was much different. We started out already with sore feet after yesterday, and that, of course, only progressed as the day went on. And while yesterday we were quite focused on what it was like to walk as a group, today we seemed to be focused more on our personal, individual experiences walking. We were more interested in the idea that “this is my Camino, and what will I do with it?”. In some ways, that led to more moments of disconnection, times when we were less aware of what was going on with others during the walk.
I was quite aware today of the rhythm of my own body. I was aware of trying to find my own pace, and of the temptation of follow someone else’s pace so I could walk with them. But I learned that I need to pay attention to the wisdom of my own body, and be less concerned with trying to match someone else. In a way it’s a blessing to realize this, and to feel the freedom that comes with the realization. At the same time, it is humbling to realize that you don’t have the capacity to match the rhythm of others.
I was also struck by the way in which we cannot ultimately know what it is like for others to make this walk — what it is like for someone else’s body to experience the Camino. There is a limit to our ability to enter into the experience of someone else.
So yesterday, I was very focused on the Camino as a communal experience, and the way in which it serves as a metaphor of Christian community. But today it was about the individual journey, the bodily challenge of the walk, and the way in which, at some level, the experience is one’s own, and cannot be fully shared.
Today was a triumph, but a humbling triumph, and one that has left each of us with something new.