I am writing this on our 19th day of walking. It seems we are 356 km from Santiago. I think the total distance from St Jean de Pied to Santiago is about 780 KM. Wow! We are really far along on this journey. Interestingly, as we meet people over the last couple of days, the question I have been asked most often is: “Is there anything in your pack that you haven’t used?”
Along the way colin and I have discarded a couple of items. As other’s have we left them in places where other Peregrinos may find them if they should be in need. I left a sports bra that was uncomfortable under the weight of my backpack straps and my walking poles that broke early on. The poles were usable but wouldn’t retract and it was too cold and annoying to have to use them every day. I can’t recall what Colin left but I do see him discard the pages of the guide book daily, as they are no longer useful once we have passed through the area previously read about.
But suprisingly the one thing that I had been carrying around for 2 weeeks and haven’t used at all was some art supplies: two very thin sketch pads, three pencils, a sharpener and eraser. One consistent thought that comes up at every stage of life is about my relationship to art. I have always loved it and feel I haven’t pursued it enough as an adult. When I meditate it is the idea of added more art to my life frequently comes up.
Prior to the trip I took a couple of art classes and started pastel painting. I thought it would be a great idea to sketch at night on the Camino. Why not? In college I always had a sketch pad at hand. I always painted while sitting on the floor of my door rooms. I never needed many supplies. I used anything I had.
But a few days ago when I was evaluating my pack I decided to leave those supplies behind. Mostly, if I have time or energy at night, I am enjoying writing this blog and have devoted no time to sketching. The stuff in my backpack is precious as is the need to keep it light. It is a funny thing to notice that the one thing I felt I needed more in my life I didn’t feel I needed here. I wonder if I will learn more about what this means to me s I go. I’ll need to ponder a bit. Being asked that question by several people did get me thinking more about why I decided to let that go though. I am glad they asked.
Some initial thoughts and questions:
Am I holding onto an interest in art because I loved it in there past?
Do I just like a different medium for my art?
After having put so much thought into bringing those supplies I felt very neutral leaving them behind.
Am I just tired and will feel like working on art when I get home?
Does this question really matter, can’t I just see what happens?
Here is my question for all of you reading this.
Is there anything in your metaphorical backpack that your haven’t used?
Here is a little bit about the past few days.
Leaving the cozy room to venture back on the path
I woke up feeling great after sleeping the entire day yesterday. Happy and healthy again on the road.
No left over effects of the food poisoning. Weather is fantastic today and we walked about 20 km to a really nice albergue. Colin decided it was worth looking at reviews after our last couple of albergues and it has paid off. We ended up in this one called albergue la Morena. Beautiful, well kept and welcoming. They have several room types and we opted for the dormitory bunk beds for €10 each. When we got upstairs we saw Marzia. A very nice surprise. She and I are the only women here and share the very beautiful bathroom. There are only a few other men probably a total of 6 ppl. It is a bit strange since we saw so many people walking today. The path was very busy. I have a picture attached so you can see who is ahead of us. There were just as many behind.
At the albergue there are several others here who have opted for private rooms, including the older Dutch couple; Jan and Katharine. I am glad to see them again. They say Yogi is about a day behind us.
We had dinner with a German guy who has the same backpack as Colin. A bonding issue for men it seems as they are the only two on the Camino with this pack. I like my pack which seems to be worn by about 20% of the people I see every day.
April 18th. Wednesday
A gorgeous day. Long walk. 26 km. About 16.5 miles. Landed in a beautiful albergue. It is 8 mos old. €12 but worth it. A nice lounge area. And pod beds again with curtains. This is the first day I have had blisters and I blame it on the badger balm being used up. A woman from Holland, Sylvia, gave me some vaseline. I know that should work and if I find any essential oils I’ll add them.
We had a perfect day. It included a little time with the Dutch couple in the morning and a lot of time alone on the trail. Now we are in the albergue with our feet up in the shade drinking vino tinto. Nice people around us.
Good things today:
* great weather
* A supermercado that had a salad and other supplies I wanted.
* A perfect place to rest