I started out for a distance-training hike on one of the many bike paths on outer Cape Cod. I wore my pack and hiking gear, and there was a new truth and awareness I wore within for all of the training I’ve done so far – so many brilliant walks, talking with Nancy about how to do life and what really matters. The inner confidence and strength I’ve always had was now far deeper, rooted to a truth learned by walking, listening and being open, that grounded me like a schooner’s anchor to the shore.
I was the lone walker amid a sea of bikers – and I was physically fit, perhaps for the first time in my life. At 51, I was strong and sure, both inside and out, and I was here for a reason. Nancy and I would be leading a group on the final 112km of the Camino Frances in a few weeks. I had my own intention for the pilgrimage, but mostly, I was going to help guide others find the answers they are meant to hear.
My Camino is for you friends.
The bike path was a flurry of activity this morning. Everyone was going somewhere in a hurry. A high-tech biker in streamlined gear and a racing bike breezed by me only moments into my journey, “On your left,” he said and then turned to me with a smile, “Have a good walk!” It was my “Buen Camino,” the greeting Camino pilgrims use to wish each other well.
This feels real.
I instantly felt connected to him, a stranger and somehow a friend in this sea of travelers. In that moment, I sensed my Camino journey had begun in earnest. Even though this trail wasn’t The Way, it was for me. Camino writers say that once you make the commitment to walk, that one’s pilgrimage has already begun, but here I had stepped onto the Camino path in a palpable way. Here, I found a kindred spirit.
As I walked, I began to fall into my own rhythm. I was going my own way at my own pace and it felt so good, so freeing. I found words surfacing for our Camino group:
Just keep on going,
let go of the stories in your mind
and hear the beating rhythm
of your heart,
of your footsteps on the earth,
and listen, dear friends,
listen for your deeper truth.
As I watched the biker ride off into the distance, I had a vision of each one in our pilgrimage group, and of others we would meet on The Way. I saw each of us walking toward destined encounters with one another.
With joyful anticipation, I thought of our pilgrims and wondered:
Who will you meet?
What will each one teach you?
How will you make an impact on them?
It warms my heart to think of the connections that will soon take place on the enlightened path of the Camino – including those with our truest self, the most important connection of all. And the powerful awareness that these encounters will change our lives forever.
Sono luce, (I am light – and so are you!!)
Copyright 2018 Angela Martin
Guest post by Angela Martin, a seeker of truth, beauty and goodness, and writer and award-winning author who writes on her contemplative journey in the second half of life. Angela is co-leading the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage with Nancy Murray, September 14-23, 2018.