Just Walk

Changes you’re going through at work seem never ending. Some days I bet you just want to lie down and let it all go by. I get it.

I wasn’t acting or feeling very pilgrim-y during the first couple of weeks of my 40-day pilgrimage across Spain to Santiago de Compostela. The trek was more difficult than I had anticipated, with long daily walks of 20-30km of ups and downs in rain, snow and everything in between. My pack was heavy, my shoes hurt, my toenails were off. I was tempted to check into a hostel and check out six weeks later and saying that I had done it. Who would know?

The hostel the night before the day of my ‘lesson’ had been crowded and noisy. Hairy legs dangled from the top bunk, for no good reason. Breakfast was a stale little muffin in sterile plastic and Nescafe instant coffee.10km after the morning launch, there was still no café. It was cold, drizzling rain with a 20 knot headwind. Everything hurt way beyond my daily allotment of Ibuprofen.

I bottomed at exactly 11:14am. I know this because I checked my iPhone in case I needed the exact time of death. I lay face down on the side of the road in my red poncho and waited to be hit by a car. It made perfect sense; if I was struck I might be transported to the hospital and get a free ride, a real bed and maybe a meal.

I also wanted sympathy. Didn’t the others know how hard it was? Maybe one of them would stop, offer food and drink, even carry me a short way. After an eternity that lasted probably 10 minutes, I got that nobody was going to stop. Nobody was going to carry me. Oh, they wished me a “buen camino” as in – “I see you lying there face down in the drizzle. We chose our own caminos, and you have chosen to lie down at the side of the road. I acknowledge that.”

Direct translation from my angels and guides: “Stop moaning, get up and walk.” “You don’t have to like it to do it.” “Don’t spend energy on what you can’t control. Control you things you can. Just walk.”