This week has been a great week – I received my Credential document and badge from the “Canadian Company of Pilgrims”, downloaded 3 ebooks (not all small publications are available on e-format), ordered 3 books and received one which is, according to many, one of the most sought after Camino Guide.
I am quite amazed at the immense amount of information in this book. I’ve been reading it most of the day, and I believe this will be the one book I will carry with me during my journey.
I have also found a lot of personal blogs from various pilgrims who share their thoughts and photos and I must admit I secretly wish I was heading out this coming May instead of next year. I know I need to take the time to prepare, to plan, and to arrange for time off from work. Physically I want to be ready for long walking days, and fiscally I want to be able to treat myself to the odd “B&B” when a bit of pampering is needed.
Still, each page I read, each blog I discover and each new photograph I see re-enforces the fact that this journey is not really a “planned” journey, as in “well, one day I PLAN on doing this”, or “I plan on it at some point” – – it’s a TRUTH… It’s very challenging for me to be able to explain this, but as sure as I am here, typing this entry, I will be on that Camino next year.
Of course, should something happen in the interim (an illness, a family emergency, a drastic change of daily plans) I will adapt, but mark my words, I WILL do this journey. A dear close friend of mine told me that one day, as she was walking the Canal in Ottawa, a thought made its way to her, and she knew at that moment that she would be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro; and, she did! Now, this kind of thought is not a small passing thought by any account. There’s a huge difference between having a yearning for, let’s say, a long walk in the park, or seeing a good movie, or calling up someone on a whim AND something that is as demanding as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
According to many of the blogs, forums and books written by pilgrims, the thought of walking the Camino came to many as a “given” once the idea was accepted in their hearts. A true “knowledge” that it would happen, if not as planned, as postponed or rescheduled, but as a truth.
I am truly excited about this journey. I am not fooling myself in underestimating the toll of walking more than 500 kilometers (this distance may increase based on my year of training). This is NOT a walk in the park! The walk is at times demanding in terms of distance, of elevation, of harsh weather and more expected and unexpected challenges. However, the sense of peace, quietness, camaraderie with those who seek alike experiences, gorgeous views, amazing historic sites and breathtaking churches make such challenges seem a necessary part of the trip.
Many speak of finding themselves, of changing their views of their lives and future, of clearly understanding their purpose in life, of seeing the world in a different way. I have no expectations other than to open my eyes, my thoughts, my mind, and my heart to an amazing journey. This is an undertaking that warms my heart even though it is still months away. I will be filling my mind and my heart of tales and stories and images in preparation to an incredible adventure… To quote many who say this often, “Life is Good”! – –