Wednesday, October 10, 2012

El Camino de milagros

Big projects can be a real odyssey.

Well over a decade ago (and nearly coming up on two decades ago) I walked the pilgrimage route from the town of Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela in Northwest Spain. It was a hard journey, both physically and mentally. I was 22 years old, and a young 22 for all that I lived in Brooklyn and had spent my teenage years trying to look like a punk rock girl.  I walked over 200 (125 miles) kilometers in about 6 days with a 40 pound pack on my back, no reservations, and a high school's education of Spanish. I was alone.  I was tired most of the time and undernourished, with heels blistered beyond the capability of wearing boots (thank goodness I brought Tevas along).  Though not religious, I experienced the little miracles that the pilgrims talked about - suddenly finding yourself several miles from where you started but not really noticing the miles covered, the unexpected discovery of food in your pack when you could have sworn you had nothing left, or one last bunk unfilled for the night because everyone else was walking in pairs.

I learned a lot from that trip.  As cliche as it sounds, I learned that it does take lots of little steps to make a big journey.  And that perseverance is rewarded in unexpected and spectacular ways.  As I walked into the valley of Santiago de Compostela I could see the cathedral spires calling me to the city center.

And I can see the spires now, as I bring a big project home.

I would love to finish this by the end of October, but I am not going to rush it. I want to enjoy the last few steps.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post! I see a much longer essay comparing the two here!!