September 27: On the Camino it is impossible not to be aware your physicality. Several times I have run into Lacey, a delightful and thoughtful young woman from San Fancisco. She has tattoos and piercings and wears her hair cropped close to her head. Last night she was in the upper bunk opposite to mine. She was working on treating multiple blisters and commented that the Camino community is very different from back home communities because we talk about our bodies so easily. Like, “Hi, my name’s Kim. How’s your body?” It’s not a big exaggeration. At this stage of the journey it is our bodies that claim most of our attention.
My thoughts turned to the Christian concept of incarnation, that the divine, creative energy became flesh in a human being. I believe now that that same energy is in all of us, in fact in all of the created order — stars, supernovas, rocks, plants and animals. And it is our divine nature that seeks expression, especially in the second half of life.
The tendinitis in my ankle seemed better this morning and it was pretty good at first on the trail but by noon I was limping again. I think it needs a day of rest. Other than that it was a good day through more rolling farmland and then on to a high, forested plateau with beautiful woodland trails.
Although the four amigos have officially broken up, Astaria and I walk about the same pace and we have found ourselves staying in the same albergues every night. So since the point is not to avoid each other we have continued to share time and sometimes meals as well as chat on the trail. She, too, is needing a rest day but like me she is behind a day in her schedule. So we have decided to take a bus tomorrow into Burgos (skipping the large industrial area), do a little sightseeing (the cathedral is a must) and then bus on to the next day’s destination, Hornillos del Camino. That will make up the missing day while giving us a rest and experiencing Burgos. Sounds like a plan.
Tonight we’re in a large albergue in a hamlet of twenty souls. It is a former monastery which has hosted pilgrims since the Middle Ages — large, cold rooms with about twenty beds each. But you know, one gets used to this and it’s really quite adequate.
One more note. I happened to meet a young (41) pastor from a Scandinavian country. He had seen me in various places and thought he would like to talk to me. He is on a sabbatical from the church that he started and which now seems to be stuck and conflicted. He is hurting and trying to figure out how to respond. This conversation was right up my alley and I was amazed at his openness and his willingness to listen to my questions and suggestions. We both left that conversation being blessed by the exchange and he said he considered it a gift from God. A happy day.