October 9: I can’t believe it’s day 22 already. Before I left, I asked Catherine Auten how long it took before the walking started to be more effortless and you weren’t focused all the time on your feet and legs. She said after about three weeks. Well, right on schedule, that has been my experience the past couple of days. Today was another beautiful day, mostly sunny and cool, through beautiful woodlands and a bit of climbing. Tomorrow we will pass the highest point on the Camino then descend steeply to a much lower altitude where it will again be warmer. By Wednesday we could get some rain for a couple of days. My cold is almost gone.
I was thinking about what I wrote the other day about choosing to take in and appreciate what is without judging it as good or bad, nice or not, beautiful or ugly. I thought that someone might legitimately ask then if I don’t think I should take action about things that are wrong. I am passionate about various policies and practices that are unjust. I am deeply concerned about the Canadian election taking place and the prospect of another Harper majority. Although I did not intend to follow the news I needed to a little bit in order to know who to mark on my mail in ballot. (I’m voting strategically.)
But back to the question, how do I reconcile the value of accepting all-that-is with my passion to bring about a better world? It may be one of those paradoxes that can never be fully resolved but one can only live in the tension between them. I do believe there is a connection between personal spiritual development and a movement to action in the world. I’ll have to reflect on this some more.
We’re booked into the Albergue Gaucelmo, which was built from a ruin by the British Camino Association and is staffed by volunteer hospitaleros from England. The couple here right now have been doing this each year (two week shifts) since 2007 and they provide a warm welcome. They served tea and biscuits at 5:00 pm in the sitting room (how civilized) and this evening a number of us sat around the fireplace while the host and I played the resident guitar and sang. What a wonderful evening!