30 August, 2014 - Herrerias
Today I climbed a mountain. But the view was better on the way up than it was from the summit.
For some reason today, I didn't want to stop and rest at all. I think it was partly because I wanted to get my hands on my bag that never made it to Villafranca. Oh yeah, that happened...
I never realized that you had to call to have a pick-up reserved for JacoTrans. The first time I did it in Rabanal, Gene didn't say - or didn't know - that you had to make a reservation. I guess someone else had reserved a pick up so my bag ended up in Ponferrada with no problem. But from Ponferrada to Villafranca, I must have been the only one with a bag to transport because no one came to pick it up!
I had a bit of a meltdown in Villafranca but the hospitalero was so nice and helpful. He called JacoTrans for me to arrange my bag to be sent to Vega de Valcarce for me. He also called to the hostel/bar in Ponferrada to confirm my bag was still there. I cried from the heat and dehydration and frustration at my stupid mistake. Crying usually makes people either feel sorry for me or feel really uncomfortable. The hospitalero seemed more about the former but he was very down-to-business until everything was worked out. He also didn't speak much English so I was trying to speak and understand Spanish which was just aggravating the situation. Finally, he asked another pilgrim to translate and that made things go a bit more smoothly.
So my meltdown, coupled with a sunburn from the walk through the vineyards yesterday, made me very tired and agitated. Also, I was waiting to get my bag before taking a shower so I didn't take a shower until around 6pm once everything had been dealt with - which means my dirty clothes weren't hung out to dry until 6:30pm so they were still quite damp when I brought them in from the dark for the night.
Anyway, I now have my bag but my feet are so tired from not stopping basically all day.
The mountain I climbed this morning was nice and good exercise (like I need additional exercise out here on the Camino!) but I don't know if it was worth it. Over half of today's walk was on pavement along a highway so my hips and joints hurt much more than usual. I don't know - I guess it was cool being so high up and away from everyone, but I was alone again for most of the day.
I don't know why it is so different now than when I first started walking. I just haven't met anyone going my same pace - or even ending up in the same towns. Maybe it will be different after tomorrow. After I get to O'Cebreiro, most days are pretty standard 20-25 kilometers or less per day. Maybe I will meet new friends with whom I can share the Camino.
Although, I did meet Frank and Jerry today. Frank and Jerry are two Irish men probably the same age as Dad who met each other on the Camino about three years ago. They started in St. Jean and walked to Burgos. The next year they walked from Burgos to Ponferrada. This year they are finishing up, walking from Ponferrada to Santiago. They both are really quite lovely and their wives are both here on the Camino as well. The two men walk together and the two women walk together - I only met Frank and Jerry on the Way but I met their wives at the hotel this evening. The four of them took a taxi to mass up the mountain in O'Cebreiro and I am stealthily waiting for them to get back so I might be able to eat dinner with them.
I feel a bit pathetic trying to latch on to them but it is so nice not being alone for a while - and being able to speak English unabashedly, too!
I wonder if this isn't an overarching lesson that God is trying to teach me on this trip...Maybe there is such a thing as being too independent. I mean, we're social creatures aren't we? Maybe God is trying to tell me that I need to give up (I don't know if give up is the right term) being so independent and learn to lean on others.
My whole life, I have been completely loved by my family, but I've never experienced romantic love before. This is most likely due to my being overweight and under-confident for my entire life. I would allow myself to have crushes on boys growing up, but I never would let myself want anything more than that. I always justified it by reasoning that I would be going off to college so why would I want a boyfriend in high school. Or in college I knew that I wouldn't end up in Seattle so why start a relationship that I would just have to move away from. I didn't even let myself fully desire a romantic relationship because I knew deep down that it wasn't dependent on me wanting it - it was dependent on someone else wanting me...and I never thought that would ever happen. So I just became comfortable with being by myself.
Maybe experiencing this time alone along the Way is to prepare me to have an open heart for when someone special comes into my life. Maybe I need to use this time to begin to build confidence in my new body and mind so I can accept that someone just might want me and that I might let myself want someone back.
Dear God, please help me see and accept what you are teaching me here on the Camino. I want to learn and be better so badly. Please help me. Amen.