This post comes from a young Italian man we met on The Way. Though he’s only 24, you can tell from his writing how wise he is and that he is as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside. Thanks, Alessandro, for being our first guest blogger!
I know it’s a little bit late to write about Camino.
But during Camino you discover exactly that nothing comes really late –
even delay arrives in time when things are meant to appear in your way.
I met Cathy and all the other folks a sunny day in Castojeriz,
a small ghost town somewhere in the Meseta, and I think it was one of the worst days of my life.
We started to talk and talk and share our meals and drinks:
it finished with a group of people eating chocolait au lait and drinking spanish wine under a sub saharian-like sun.
They even discovered to be actually neighbours in the States (Cathy and Rachel, one of our friends).
Yeah (!) yOu go to the other part of the world in order to find that some of the greatest people you’ve ever met are
just one hour close your hometown. You find people who already knew themselves in their hometown
and fall in love on the road like they
have met each other for the first time.
Or you find people just enjoin’ the ride;
or you find people who sold their house, their car and all that stupid stuff
which doesn’t allow you to live but only prevents you to walk on your path.
That’s what really is Camino: the first 900 Km of your new life path,
from whence you move your steps on the life you’re meant to live, because YOU decided to do that;
the concept getting lost is abandoned once
you head toward places you may be afraid of but that for the first time in your life you hit by yourself.
I wouldn’t say that you find only people willing to change their life there,
but if someone would ask me what is the common quality
which pilgrims share, I would say the possibility of being human, in a Earth which belongs to us, as mankind.
Camino is exactly about loss of control, the lucidity of the abandon, trusting that life will take care of you.
There’s no place for complications in a real journey, just as there’s no space for mannierisms in REAL life,
and everything is shut down in front of the necessity of taking care of yourself and planning only the day you live in
thinking only to eat and find a place to sleep for the night – if you WANT to sleep in the night.
But every day you are one step closer to your Vision: Santiago de Compostela; but you never settle, you always head forth,
you always take a new goal minding the ultimate vision,
finding again a bound with unknown people and seeing them as friends and brothers, telling and hearing stories in the night,
living adventures and sorrows during the day, and when you finally reach Santiago, that is only another step in your Way.
And once you take that challenge about making the futile, crazy, stupid decision of ruining your feet for 900 km,
getting crazy about
mind working on the isolation of your days, walking for hours under unpityful suns,
sleeping in huge bedrooms with people you’ve never seen before (who often snores loudly),
once you do that, once you take that decision I call you my friend, and we can keep in touch,
and look each other into our eyes, and understand that cinism and
pessimism – or stupid positivism – of our every-day environment can achive only a certain number of km, are finished,
for they arrive only to the point from whence life starts,
claims its own realm, leaving old things behind, and never coming back.
That IS Camino, and those are the pilgrims.