Saturday, 18 July 2009

Alone Again, Naturally…Part Two

Thursday 9th July: Sometimes it is hard to accept that what happens to you happens for a reason. And when your heart is closed through a disappointment or apparent betrayal it is hard to open it and take what is sent to you: to stand and absorb and not just pass through.

I couldn't sleep last night. I had agreed with Montserrat and the others that an early start was a good idea as we had 33 kms to go that day and anyway I had learned my lesson from yesterday's late start. As a result I was awake and writing at 4:30. Everything was pretty well packed up and ready to go but when the others appeared I said: "Just give me two minutes" and made a dash for the toilet. When I came back, no-one was there...

At first I thought they must have been waiting for me outside the Bombeiros but even though it was still semi-dark there was no-one to be found. To make things worse, as I had taken a taxi to the Bombeiros I had no idea where the Camino began and got myself lost. By the time I picked up the flechas I was feeling both angry and hurt. I really was no more than two minutes and why couldn't they have waited most especially Montserrat who had bemoaned walking alone all the way from Lisbon?

Anyway, needless to say, those negative thoughts coloured my way for many kilometers and I began to feel all the painful bits I had previously ignored: the backs of my legs hurt, I had some new blisters on my toes and the ball of one foot, and I was carrying the backpack too low and the result was a strain on my lower back. The road seemed very long and as the shade disappeared I began to do what no Pilgrim should do and all succumb to sooner or later: I fell into the Pit of Despair!

I commenced to think of all the shortcomings I have and decided I had to work on eliminating them one by one: cynicism, lack of tolerance, impatience, and perhaps most important, that little streak of self-righteousness I attribute to my father but which I most likely hatched all by myself. In short, with every pecado my pack got heavier and so did my heart...

Continued (see part three)

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