October 20, 2019
There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. Thich Nhat Hanh
CAMINO DE SANTIAGO
Can you make a breaking point a resting point? They are defined by very different characteristics.
In our 30 days of walking the Via de la Plata, we have gone from a high of 32 to a high of 12 degrees. When you are living with one change of clothes because you’re carrying your life on your back, it’s very difficult to cover such a change. We have experienced beautiful and monotonous landscape, taxing on the body or taxing on the mind.
When we arrived in Benevente in the rain in an Albergue that was created in an abandoned train station on the edge of town, over gross public washrooms our bodies, mind and soul screamed Enough! We didn’t want to enter the building. It didn’t feel safe. It was dirty and uncared for. But our bodies were so tired, cold and wet from walking, we didn’t have the energy to go find alternatives in town.
This wasn’t the first point of questioning what/why are we here but it pushed every stop button in our will.
We carried on and arrived in Astorga where the Via de la Plata Camino meets the French Camino. The energy was completely different. The pilgrim community we came across went from a dozen or so to hundreds. People were enthusiastic to walk for multiple reasons. But still, we were out of steam and at a breech point.
Once you reach a breaking point and the body and desires say no, it’s very difficult to move forward. We decided to rest in this place of discomfort. We revisited our intentions and gratitude for still having health and the opportunity to move forward or not, as so many haven’t a choice.
This mindful resting in the breaking point allowed us to clear enough of the grey mass to see a new path and a new experience. Rest and reflection with kindness and heart will always be your friends.
If you want to follow this journey on social media, I update daily. God willing, we’ll reach Santiago by October 30th. The links are:
m a y 10 - 16, 2020
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