My sweetie asked me if I'm willing to start doing hikes in our local area. We had gotten the book _60 Hikes within 60 Miles_ covering hikes in the San Antonio, Austin, Hill Country area and looked at it. Honestly, a lot of the hikes in this book are shorties--2 to 4 miles. After the Camino, these are just tastes of the thing. But I miss walking, and he misses walking, and we got to thinking, there have to be hikes in our local, Rio Grande Valley, area that we can take. Other than the ones we trained on, that is--Mission Hike and Bike, Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, and the walk from our home to the "duck park", around the park, and home again--that one's about 3 to 3.5 miles.
There is something about the walking. It seems almost unintellectual--but I think really it's more meditational. You walk, you are zoned out on finding the place for your next step. You stop for coffee (and potty) and then you keep going. And somewhere in that you begin to find a new equilibrium of trust, in God and in your spouse. And in the trail. It's not something that comes to you in your daily round of errands, chores, and going to meet people and do things. Even though, yes, chores can give a taste of the peace as well.
|Somewhere along the Camino, after the field of pink poppy plants, my sweetie was taken by the shapes and the shades of the greens.|
Maybe this is the reason why the Pilgrimages were so big in the Middle Ages. And why they're returning to prominence again. We need the peace, and the space, and the time.
If you walk the Camino, take the batteries out of your cell phone. Don't be one of those people who is so busy placating their girlfriends (or fussy parents) on the cell phone while walking that they aren't even in the moment of the walk. How can God speak to you and draw you forward into a better you if you don't even notice His call?
And I do very much encourage you to walk the Camino.