Today's walk was described in the guidebook as uninteresting, featureless, and boring. Today however was the best day that I have had so far. I guess that says a lot about my personality? ? ? Actually I started out the day in thinking mode. I really haven't been in that frame of mind since starting the Camino. I guess I have been otherwise occupied with the details of the day or how my walking companion was holding up. Well, today was different. I began by putting on my pack as usual, but it felt uncomfortable. It hurt my shoulders, and it caused me to rethink life in general. My first thought was, "Are there things that I do every day that are really meaningless, like getting up early to walk for another 20 to 30 kilometers?" I couldn't help but relate to Forrest Gump. I pictured him just walking and walking across the US and then the quote "My mama says stupid is as stupid does." Little Billy (our Irish friend) said one day that man is the only animal stupid enough to do something like the camino.
It's not that I don't enjoy what we are doing, the people we meet, or the conversations we are having. It is just that sometimes there is a feeling of futility and monotony to it and I think that spills over into other areas of my life. I want to know that if I do something day after day that it is making a difference in my life or other people's lives. I did figure out a few things that I am going to flush from my life, but overall I still need to continue to evaluate my actions and what it is that I am doing.
Another thing that happened is a revaluation of the things that I am carrying on my back. My backpack is full. Today, because we would not have a place to stop for food and water, we had to pack a lunch and extra water for the trail. It ends up that the guidebook was wrong on that as well. Since we are used to eating lunch later in the day, we waited to eat the lunch when we arrived at our destination 17k down the road. I had more than enough water and there were even places to get water on the Camino. Guess where my guidebook is now? I pulled out a pocket knife at a picnic table and Laurie thought I had gone mad. I was only cutting out the maps to continue to help us with our journey and I threw Mr. Brierly's comments in the garbage. I now have less weight in my backpack. Laurie asked if I wanted to keep it as a souvenir and I said absolutely not. I don't need more things to pack, carry, move and store in my life. Ever since last year, I have been trying to evaluate what is important to keep or do and weed out those things that really don't matter.
It may sound like it was a bad day, but it was really incredible. We had some of the deepest conversations yet on the Camino, a great dinner with new friends from all over the world, and it was GOOD.