What am I – a pilgrim or a tour organiser?
Steve posed this question yesterday, and also asked why would I want to do more of these?
This tour has been an opportunity for me to walk the Portuguese Camino with a bunch of friends. Some have been people I’ve got to know off the blog, others have been people I’ve only met a couple of times, or not at all.
Steve and Arlene are like two buddies I’ve known a lifetime, yet never met face to face.
But we’ve all come together as a group in a very profound way.
Jennifer and I are very fortunate in that these are the nicest people – as a group, and individually. Genuinely wonderful caring funny people. That’s made our job soooo much easier.
But getting back to Steve’s question: why would I want to do more of these tours?
For me, the Camino is about the transformative power of the soul journey. That’s where the Camino is different to other “walks.” The Camino carries, with every step, the soul imprint of everyone who’s walked The Way before.
That soul imprint seeps into your very being In sometimes the subtlest of ways, and sometimes explosive ways. I’ve witnessed both with some people in this group, even within this short period of time.
(the soul imprint is the cosmic residue you leave behind – the shadow and echo of the soul connection you make with The Way with each step you take.)
Have I undergone any subtle or explosive transformations? I don’t know. I’ve certainly learnt a lot. I’ve learnt a lot from observing the pilgrims in this group. They’ve taught me heaps.
But as for anything powerfully transformative – well, what I discovered from the previous Camino is that your deeper lessons sometimes blindside you weeks or months after you return home.
I met a fellow today – a young Korean chap. He was walking fast. He’d already walked 40kms when I met him. He’d walked 36kms yesterday. When I asked him why was he walking so fast, he said he didn’t know.
He then told me this was his 4th Camino.
I asked him if he’d done his other Caminos at this blistering (literally) pace.
He said he had.
I asked him why was he walking the Camino. He said he didn’t know. And then I suggested to him that if perhaps he slowed down a little, the answer to his why would catch up to him.
Some of us live fast busy lives. We keep ourselves distracted through furious activity. But we move so fast that we don’t allow our soul to catch us up. We’re disconnected from our true purpose, our true selves.
Slow down, and let the “why” catch you up…
I slowed down today, and took some shots… (from Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis – 23kms. Two days to go now to Santiago.)