When I first started my trek, I was not sure where I would go and what I would do on each passing day. It wasn’t that I was worried necessarily, but that I was curious as to whether I would be seeing the same people, and if my own thoughts would eventually spill out on paper, like being gutted from war.
Only ten days in, really, and I am still unsure of what to expect.
I keep meeting kind people, over and over. I want to do this on my own, but I also can’t seem to think of it being possible without the companions I have met thus far. Some, I feel as if I have known for years at this point. We have talked of our most secret desires and worst fears. Opening the heart as such tends to create a lasting bond, but what is most interesting is what occurs after these points of vulnerability. Whether you can continue the path together, or ultimately feel you should move on.
Particularly during the times when you learn something that makes you look at the person you admire so much in a light that is slightly less affectionate. You go from that pedestal to realizing how human we really are.
And what do you do with that information? Do you take that in to continue to love, or do you place that in a spot to remember so your heart isn’t as open as before?
I know I started the trek to better my own courage and belief in my capabilities, but as I gather more stories from those I meet on the trail, their own vulnerabilities, the more I realize how easy it was to judge prior to this trek, even when I didn’t think I was. No one knows the stories behind everyone’s past, their experiences that have led them up to that breaking point.
I always thought that I did well with trying to see from another’s point of view. However, I need to practice that even more. I hear tales and wonder about them hours, even days, later. Everyone on the trek is trying to be the best they can be.
And maybe that is why I think of this now.
On the trek, I see people struggle physically, and I know immediately that they are struggling mentally over something else. I know this because I am on the same path, we are all on the same path.
For those not on the Camino, you don’t see this aspect. You see them live daily lives, but no one thinks they could be suffering as the scene is people standing in line at the bakery, or sun bathing on the beach. We all suffer in our own ways, but don’t seem to remember since we aren’t walking over mountains to show it.
Instead, we go about our daily lives, hiding behind smiles, thinking the rest of the world has got it together because look at those other smiles.
I keep feeling I learn these lessons and will soon forget them as soon as I leave the trail, straight off the track. It frightens me.