the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles.
Post 22; June 22, 2016, Wednesday.
Day eight of trekking: Bilbao! The first rest day.
The theme of the day amongst the pilgrims, the Knights Templar, and . . . simple Carlos and me is . . . whatever we continue to do with our life—it can not be mediocre. One by one the pilgrims talk about what they intend to do with their life, solid goals, written down, discussed, worked on—every day. Journals, tablets, and laptops are present. Yes, the Camino is a metaphor as defined: an activity that is used as a symbol of something else, in this case—life! Do I have a plan, clearly laid out, with a clear end point? Step, step, step, plant your pole, step, plant your pole, step, plant your pole, step. And keep going. One step at a time. One pilgrim reminds us of so many verses on point: Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 20:24; and Psalm 37:23:
“The steps of a good man (and woman) are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”
And so we go on. Even on this, a rest day, we remain in Camino spirit. The pilgrims stay focused. It is, I shall say, an additional time to think why am I doing this? You do wonder, and it’s not always good. We are in old town Bilbao today, and as we walk, we talk. It is a picture perfect day. And it is tradition and necessary that we stock up on things we need for the days of trekking to come. Some shorts that will work better on the path, a water bottle to replace a broken or lost one, pharmacy needs, letters to mail, and, most important . . . time for the body to heal. Carlos and I had to buy utilitarian belts because we had already lost enough weight that our pants or shorts were falling off, unless we had a belt to tighten them. So we found belts that looked Camino durable, and we feel better, our shorts or pants will not fall down. And so we all put on extra miles walking the city of Bilbao. And we catch the news: Brexit, Hillary!, Donald! Islamists!, and we all talk politics gingerly so as not to offend anyone. All sides seem represented among the pilgrims.
Yes! It is good to have a rest day. But for us, we shall not lose our determination to carry on. Someone shouts out: “I WILL NEVER BE MEDIOCRE!! I’m determined to fulfill all my goals.”
And then she shouts out:
“In my heart I plan my course, but the LORD establishes my steps.” And she feels good. (Prov. 16:9)
. . .
And, now we sit at a cute little market café, Arambarri, in old town Bilbao and plan tomorrow: Our plan is to make it to Pobeña. Stage 7 in Perazzoli/Whitsom, TNCs, pg. 75. We decide to meet at the albergue Hotel Carlton, have breakfast together, necessary spanish coffee and take the river route to Portugalete, the first leg of the day, 10.3 Km. Tomorrow is Thursday, the Brexit vote day, and homelife concerns beckon, the stock market is up and down, the Dow is at 17,848, people trying to reach some of us, loved ones. No one calls me . . . and I suppose that is good.
I’m wondering if my cats miss me.
. . .