It was another rough night in the alberge. The man sleeping to the left of me snored in a deep, rolling rumble. The man to the right of me snored as well and, at one point, farted so loud that it woke me up.
I found that if I smacked my mattress it would jolt the man to my left out of his snoring pattern just long enough for me to fall back asleep. After awhile he’d begin to snore again, and I’d wake up, and the whole cycle would start over.
Still, it was a perfect morning. The grass glowed green in the early-morning sunshine and the trees dripped from yesterday’s rain. Fog hung in moody sheets at the edge of the forest.
I was feeling weepy thinking that tomorrow I will reach Santiago. I really didn’t expect my arrival in Santiago to mean so much to me. But it does. Although at times the middle of this journey felt unbearably long, in the end it will all be over too soon.
I’ve spent so much time thinking over the past 30 days and 480 miles. I suppose that’s the whole point of walking the Camino. Some of my thoughts I have shared with you and some I have kept for myself.
I’m not a religious person but I do have a strong faith in a higher spirit, an energy, which I call God. So I’ve thought a lot about what it means to live life in honor of God. I don’t have a clear vision of what this looks like but I do know that it has something to do with living with an open heart.
I think living with an open heart means confronting hard things and acknowledging suffering and trying to embrace the imperfect parts of life. To love the bad as much as the good in ourselves and in everyone else. But it starts with us. Perhaps this is the detail that really came to light for me while walking the Camino. If we cannot forgive ourselves for the ways in which we don’t measure up, for the disappointments and embarrassments and the times we have let ourselves or other people down, we will never forgive anyone else of their own mistakes. I know this is probably Therapy 101 but it is a profound thing when you discover it for yourself.
It was a long walk today and by the end of it I was in a lot of pain. My feet throbbed and my legs ached. I was so tired. I still am. I’m sitting on my bed writing this in a zombie state so forgive me if it doesn’t make much sense.
Tomorrow I will reach Santiago. I plan to set out early in the morning in order to make it in time for the Pilgrim’s mass at noon. It will be the only mass I’ve attended during the entire Camino, but it seems wrong to miss it.
Today I walked 20.5 miles (33 km).