Its Saturday morning (early because jet lag is still messing with our heads) and we have been home from our Camino adventure nearly 72 hours. Much of that time has been spent putting our lives back together, banking, bookkeeping, emailing, organizing pictures, groceries, visiting, phoning, and trying to tame the hay field that is our lawn.
I realized yesterday that I had not posted here since our arrival in Madrid the day before we left Spain. Part of this is due to the busyness described above, but, likely the major reason for silence has been the struggle to come up with the words required to describe what happened to us.
As we meet people, beginning already at the Madrid airport because both of us were wearing our new Camino souvenir shirts, the question that is asked is “How was your holiday?”. That question is hard to answer since, in terms that most people can relate to, it was not a holiday. We walked an average of 20 km a day over sometimes rough, but always stunning terrain in hot weather. We slept in very close proximity to a lot of other people in conditions that virtually all holiday travelers would reject. We were limited in the amount of luggage we had access to by our ability to carry it from place to place and thus had to do without many of the conveniences that we would normally have access to. We suffered from blisters and sore feet that made life very difficult, and yet, the next day we would have to go on again despite the pain. It was not a normal holiday and maybe should not be described as such at all.
And yet, we miss the experience already and this is likely why it is difficult to put words to the emotions. Over three weeks
sharing the lives of our fellow travelers has been a life changing experience. The community built, both within our small group, but also with other pilgrims on the road, was wonderful. The times spent in worship and song, again in both large and small groups, brought us near tears and beyond. The hours spent walking with my best friend allowed for much inner and shared reflection that strengthened that bond. All of these things are difficult to quantify in casual conversation. They really don’t fit as important attributes of the regular holiday.
The busyness of life is calling me again. There is more to unpack from the past three weeks that will likely appear in future posts.
Was it a good holiday?