I am hyper-active (was born that way), and can’t sit for long in one place unless my intellect is provoked by some great mental challenge. And, as I am just another ordinary Gemini girl, my hyper-activity is quite mental in nature. Yes, I move a lot, and run to chase a bus or catch a metro, I even jump up and down when I’m happy, and when I’m unhappy, I also jump up and down, and when I walk… man, am I fast…! But to say that I’m not into sports would be an understatement. (Just thinking of playing tennis, or going to the gym, makes me feel tired at once.) So far, the greatest discovery of our modern technology, known simply as “the computer” has been able to satisfy my hyper-activity by – ironically – keeping me nailed to a chair for hours, and even days.
So when I started talking about doing the pilgrimage myself, some two years ago, most of my friends teased me. I guess they never really thought that I was serious about it. But I was. It’s just one of those things you hear about, and at once you recognize it as something you were meant to do.
It took me two years to decide to do it, and now that I’ve done it, I am sure I’ll be doing it again soon. Because… the road is like that, it gets into you. It’s an experience I’d want to repeat again and again.
I keep remembering how it felt; my eyes focused on the horizon… breathing in and out… one foot follows the other… I felt alone and free, I felt whole, in a constant state of meditative trance, called simply – “walking the road”.
My own biorhythm, or daily dynamics, made itself known early on. I guess it’s different for everyone. I am the kind of person who is always angry in the morning. Dreams from the night before seem to hunt me through my subconscious in form of negative energy outbursts. So these early walks – for me – have been the most rewarding ones. When I’d wake up early and start walking immediately, without even having had a coffee, my walk is brisk, vigorous, almost angry. The first 10km I usually cover in about an hour, battling fiercely with my anger, disappointments, fears, insecurities, and – of course – absent enemies. I am so blinded by my own demons that I am completely oblivious to the beautiful nature around me. But even my negativity has its limits, I’ve discovered. In the next 10km it gets tired of its own presence, just as my body gets tired of walking. Through movement and physical activity, my subconscious changes course from negative and begins to manifest itself in ideas and insights offering me a direct access to the knowledge imprisoned within my own soul. And the last phase of this daily dynamics of the road for me comes when my body is tired and my mind clear and aware and kind of empty. Yes, aware and empty. A strange combination, but it’s a state of divine blithe.
I knew that the pilgrimage to Santiago was sometimes referred to as “a strange road to Santiago”, but it is only now that I understand why it is so. As time passes, my comprehension grows. Then I was walking the camino; now the camino is walking me.
THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO IS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR CALLING
Only a few are blessed with a forceful vision of their calling. The rest of us have, by and large, cowardly conformed to the security provided by a full-time job, and only occasionally do we dare ask ourselves if we are doing the right thing with our lives, if we really are doing what we are supposed to do. But how does one know what one is supposed to do, anyway? And is there a way to find out?”A man is what a man does. And a man does what a man is.”
In order to find out what you are here to do, you must first find out who you really are. How well do you think you know yourself? Would you like to find out if there’s more to you then you might think? If so, then ask yourself further: “Am I willing to confront myself? Forgive myself? Empower myself? And finally, am I willing to transform myself?”
Because, inevitably, that is what the Road will get you to do.
THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO IS ABOUT OTHERS
It is about giving and taking, supporting and leaning, talking and hearing.
It is about finding out how much you are willing to share.
It is about realizing your self-sufficiency, and about allowing yourself to depend on others.
It is about realizing your uniqueness.
THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO IS ABOUT TIME
If you want to walk the Road, you must set aside a month and a half of your life. You will probably get there in a month, but take the fifteen days on top, just in case that whatever happens you wouldn’t have to be pressed for time. The point is to relax completely, forget about your real life, and let the Road help you find your own pace.
THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO IS ABOUT THE THINGS THAT MATTER
You will discover these things along the way.
But take a moment and think about the essentials you’d pack in your bag for this one-month-long trip. Would you take a book? A camera? Some photographs? Your laptop???
Really, what would you take with you? (Keep in mind, though, that you’d be carrying them for 800km…!)
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)