A rough road partly covered with cobblestones stretches in front of me. It continues as far as I can see, as it carves its way through the lightly sloping landscape. On both sides, endless fields of golden coloured wheat plants swinging back and forth on the light breeze in the air. The sun is approaching noon with its highest point in the sky. I can feel the intense heat rising up from the stones below me, giving me flashbacks of past experiences in dry sauna’s. Automatically I’m taking each step forward. It feels as a kind of robotic movement determined to reach his goal.
‘You know Niels, the Camino is like life don’t you think?’ the girl walking next to me speaks up.
‘What do you mean Michaela?’ I responded puzzled.
‘Don’t you think this road to Santiago is similar as your path in life? To me it seems like large swings of up and down with happiness and sadness. It just reminds of life’ she continues.
In the back of my mind I start to recount the last few weeks. First the terrible weather in Pyrenees: pounding rain, wind gusts that pull on your clothing, and temperatures that make your hands so cold that they start to lose their function. Then the sun comes back and the following days are pleasantly warm. I joined a group of people that had a mixture of people. I enjoyed the connection. Then, due to the rain and intense physical activity, a was struck by a small fever and knee pain. I couldn’t continue and had to take rest as the group advanced without me. I felt lost and had difficulties accepting my situation. I continued a day later and met up with another group of people of which Michaela is one.
I turned my head and looked at her. Somehow me and Michaela had something special. Hard to determine what but our energies are attracting each other like magnets. The conversations were as fluent as the water in our water bottles; the depth, a joy to experience; the spirituality, insights for life.
‘I think you are right Michaela’ I continued, ‘I have a feeling that Camino is trowing obstacles in my path to learn from. This could be the same as life..?’ I hesitantly finished my sentence. In the back of my mind I recounted the last few months of my life. Sadness, anxiety, complete delusion, not knowing how to be happy. Me and my girlfriend broke up. I was in tears. The seemingly fixed and certain path in front of me, suddenly choose to end and twist itself in a completely unpredictable direction. I had to find myself again. I noticed that my job became mundane, the courses I took started to feel insignificant, the birds and flowers outside were of no joy to me. I had to collect all the shards of myself and slowly, piece by piece, glue them together into the new me. I already had a feeling I had to do something big. Something that would make a profound impression on me and shape new character I want to become. I did just that: The Camino the Santiago.
‘I know for sure now Michaela. Life is just like the Camino with ups and downs’
She smiles and together we continue step by step towards our goal. The end of our journey, our life journey.