I know, you’re sick (no pun intended) of the coronavirus and I’m sick of it too. However I am choosing to try and maintain a positive attitude about it. The Camino was for me a very positive time. Even when it was tough to walk somehow it was better to choose to be happy because grumbling serves no purpose.
I’ve been in a sort of pseudo-quarantine for more than a month now. We are down to about 1 1/4 vehicles since my husband’s car leaks oil like a sieve. He bought a new car, but it’s on order until late May. I would prefer that he take my car and be safe which brings me to my first camino lesson.
I can walk. I have covered as much as 18 miles in one day with 15 pounds on my back. Most places are well within reach when one has to rely on a pair of 1958 feet to get there. These feet, this body transported me 500 miles over 40 days from the town of St.Jean Pied de Port in France over the Pyrenees, all the way to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I can do it. Today they took me over 5 miles to the grocery store and back where I bought a dozen eggs so I can make egg noodles and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that was on sale. Life is good.
The second thing I learned is if the distance is too far or will take too long or if it’s on a dodgy road I must ask myself if this is truly something I need or just want. The answer is almost always it’s a “want”. I would have loved to have more clothes to wear on the camino but the reality is I only needed 2…the blue shirt and the orange shirt.
The third thing I learned is to indulge my creativity. That really translates into making the most of what I have. On the camino I had to figure out a lot of new things. One morning in our apartment we woke to find that the electricity had gone off in the night. No lights…and it was really dark! Glen said, “I guess we’ll have to wait until the sun comes up to pack our things.” I said, “Are you kidding? I’m going to use my headlamp and get ready to go.” After all we brought those headlamps to walk in the dark on early mornings. Dark is dark.
Sharing and kindness are essential always and everywhere. On the camino I saw a woman stumble with a knee injury. Within minutes an impromptu camino pharmacy cropped up with every sort of pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and medical braces and bandages. People were offering to carry her backpack and lend an arm for support. Our little community made sure she made it to her destination and was comfortably installed in her hotel.
Don’t hoard. The camino will provide. I had heard and read that expression from many people and in many books. And it’s true. One day while crossing the Pyrenees I was running low on water and had no snacks with me. I was worried. Then I turned a corner and there on the path was a man with boxes of oranges and bananas and a cooler with cold water. You need to understand that there is no road for a vehicle to get here. He had to load all of that into a cart and pull it up the trail to get to that spot. I think that was the best tasting banana I’ve ever eaten.
So back to the coronavirus…I hate this virus. I worry about my granddaughter who has spinal muscular atrophy and uses a cough assist machine because her chest muscles are weak. I worry about my son in law who had a kidney transplant and is immuno-suppressed. I worry about my cousin who is elderly and has health issues. Yes I hate that this is happening in our country and around the world. And I’m going to do all I can to get through this…with a 😊 smile!