Today we walked from Arzua to Pedrouzo, in moderate whether that was nice to walk in, but chilly whenever we stopped. We have been told that Spain is having an unusual summer, with the weather more like autumn. For Camino walkers, this is probably a good thing. Our journey was about 13 miles, leaving us about 11 miles to go to reach Santiago tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that we have covered about 58 miles already, and that tomorrow will be our last day of walking. I think we are agreed that we will both be glad to reach the goal of our journey, but also sad to end our Camino journey.
This morning, we were invited to reflect during today’s walk on this question: How will we take the Camino with us when we return home?
As I carried this question with me today, I was struck by an observation made by one of group, about keeping the peace of the Camino with us when we return to the non-peace of the rest of our lives. This comment got combined in my mind with my own observation about how the Camino runs through the daily lives of the Spaniards who live along it. The Camino weaves through their towns, farms, and yards, and they go about their daily lives as the pilgrims pass through. Sometimes the Spaniards pay attention, wishing the pilgrims well, and sometimes they don’t. What for us is a very special and powerful journey is to them just a part of the dailiness of their lives.
This led me to realize that the Camino can represent one’s groundedness in God, and as one walks, one is reminded of that rather literally as one puts one foot after another on the way. The way I hope to carry the Camino with me, in part, is to remember that the groundedness I feel so forcefully here is always available to me, if I will only remind myself of God’s continual presence. There is a peace always available below the noise and chaos of life, just as the Camino is always here for anyone to walk. If we can use the spiritual practices available to us anywhere we are, we can be reminded of that peace that lies below the surface, and tap into it. We can, in a sense, walk the Camino anytime. And living our lives from that place can change our lives.
One blessing of today came as we realized that we would be having our daily Eucharist in Spain today at the same time as Trinity was having their 10 am Eucharist at home. A wonderful moment of connection reminding us that when we live in Christ, we are never truly parted from one another.