the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles.
Post 38; July 9, 2016, Saturday.
Day 25: Still in Oviedo. On The Camino Primitivo.
The Joy of Sophia.
The Simplicity of a few problems.
I caught Sophia crying this morning. I didn’t mean to. I just got up from my albergue, close to the Oviedo Cathedral, and walked to the corner café, La Corte de Pelayo, to have morning Camino coffee, and saw her sitting there. By herself. Crying. But she said she was happy. Because the Camino was helping her understand life. She said that on the Camino there so few things to worry about. She said she is really enjoying the simplicity of a few problems. You get up, you know to follow the yellow arrows to the next village (today it’s San Juan de Villapañada), you have to eat, meet your friends, and carry on. So simple. And as issues come up, like a blister, you take care of it. And everyone is there to help. Sophia was happy. She was crying, laughing, and joyful. I have walked on occasion with Sophia on the trail, and knew her story (later, a note on that), and I wrongly assumed what she was crying about. . . . Okay, I can order some coffee, and she invited me to sit with her and wait for her friends, her Camino family. Oh my God, then I was blown away.
. . . up walked, yep, Nick Tate, Harold Rosenberg, Tempie Teagarden, Norm Adams, and Baby Doe 1. They were her Camino family. I can’t tell you how happy I was. How does life get this good? And then . . . yep, Carlos de la Camera walked up. Wow, what a morning, and that was just the first sip of my coffee. Amen.
So, this is on the nose writing again. We sit here catching up. Again, I’m reminded that when this is all over I will compare notes, journals and chronicles with Nick, Harold, Tempie, Norm and Baby Doe 1, and . . . then we shall really see what this was all about. But first we are talking to Carlos and he is saying he’s going to get rolling on the path. This is a 29.5Km trek today all the way to San Juan de Villapañada, and he says he needs to walk. That’s code, for wanting to think some things through. He took a side trip yesterday to an ancient home he owns (with his family) in the Leon area that he wants to turn into an albergue someday (I know he will), and he’s working on stuff related to it. (I saw the amazing Carlos’ albergue home-to-be on my 2014 Camino.) And so Carlos heads off.
I blew out my hiking poles. I’m short on clothes, and I need things. And that’s just me. So, all seven of us, me, Sophia, Nick, Harold, Tempie, Norm and BD1, head off to find, what right now as I write turns out to be such a great trekking store in Oviedo: Deportes Cavana, run by the great outdoorsman, Juan Manuel Iglesias Castro, “Jame” for short. And we all proceed to buy supplies and replace things that have worn out. I completely blew out my hiking poles, my socks (yes, you can wear out your socks 25 days on the Camino), and one tee shirt (I wore out the shoulders from my backpack). So I replaced them all. I love my new poles. Believe me—you need good hiking poles on the Camino, unless . . . you’re Anton from Belgium who has this way of walking the Camino that his uprightness but staring forward at the path while properly lifting each foot the perfect distance from the path before setting it down again meditation style that somehow relieves the need for poles and allows him to just trek on making cities meaningless as he treks straight through them as he stays tied exclusively to the path. —I can’t do that. Wow, he’s a machine.
Anyway, it’s wonderful to see all the things each of us need as we prepare for the last long series of treks to Santiago de Compostela. I never really kept track of how far we’ve come. Basically, you get to the point that it really doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is: you are going all the way. You will finish. That’s what matters.
Sophia, my friend is a “cutter.” Yes, because of my work at the Dream Center, I know what a cutter is. Sophia wouldn’t wear short sleeves for the first 20 days on the Camino. But one day she did. It was obvious. She says she’s done with that. There’s no point in telling her personal story other than to tell her new story of
a new life.
The Camino de Santiago.
There’s this simple thing you really learn well on the Camino. That there are definitely good problems and bad problems. And when you understand that in your heart, I guess you cry.
. . .