It is only 45 more days until I leave for Spain. This is the last of the “pre” stage portion, I suppose. I am still working with recovering from plantar fasciitis. I have been to physical therapy for it. The right foot/ankle had a striking pain, but I am recovering with yoga, ice, and a clever little sock that I wear at night. I’ve had my foot “taped” by an expert, and I think it is almost healed.
It is odd, but I’ve come to a conclusion about the Camino de Santiago. It isn’t just a “walk” as some have referred to it. It began, as my readers know, with a calling, a growing realization that this was something that I needed to do. Even with a weak right foot. I have 40 days in Spain. I am called to contemplate, to listen, to simplify: not just log in a certain number of miles. The Camino has been a pivot point for lives for over a thousand years. It is a path that has called individuals to listen: to meet with God. Moses had Mt. Sinai, Jesus had the desert, and we have the Camino. Leave it all behind. Drop all your possessions to about 15 pounds, walk with it on your back. Stay the night with others from all over the world who are seeking as well. Walk, listen, sleep: repeat.
If my foot flares up in Spain, there are options. I am present for 40 days in Spain regardless. I have shortened my first 4 days to acclimatize. Five miles to Orisson, 10 miles to Roncevalles, Spain, six miles to another stop, and so on. Pamplona is about five days in: if my foot survives, I will quicken the pace and pick up the miles after Pomplona. If not, I walk what I can. There are options.
For instance, there is a service that will take your pack to the next village. If I can not take that weight of the pack, I will do that. There are also bikes to rent over the Meseta, and oddly enough, there are even donkeys to carry your pack. I can bus portions of the Camino up to the last 65 miles. I must walk the last 65 miles to gain my document from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostella. If my foot gives out in the first 10 days, I will bus to the 65 miles and limp 4-6 miles a day to the finish. People have traversed this path in much worse condition than I. I can do this.
You see, it is the walk, the journey that I am called to, and this is what makes walking the Camino so significant, so individual: it unfolds as you walk. You are called to show up: the journey will unfold. So…wish me well this during these final 45 days of preparation. Come April 19th, I will board a plane in Charlottesville, layover in Atlanta, and then fly into the greatest adventure of my life. Alone, but not really.