Walking Strong

Today marked a special occasion. After heading up mountain the last 3 days, I would reach Cruz de Ferro this morning. This is the highest point on the camino at around a mile above sea level. I set out early to make it by sunrise. As it began to get light out I could see the proud iron cross at the top of the hill. Immediately my emotions got the best of me as I squeezed tightly to my stone. I put a lot of prayer and thought into this stone. I rubbed my left thumb dry with it as I walked. At the foot of the cross is a mound of stones to climb. It now occurred to me that I am literally walking on the prayers, the hopes and dreams, as well as the pain and hurt of perhaps millions of pilgrims before me. I glanced at notes and stones with writing on them. I glanced at photos withering away to nothing.
Some how participating in this ritual didn’t seem appealing. I confessed to god that I don’t understand why and I don’t know how to let go. I don’t understand how it is possible.
I tossed my stone to the ground and moved on. Somehow I saw this going different. It wasn’t until I left Cruz de Ferro that I started to think with a clear head. I made it a long day because I couldn’t wait to get off of that mountain. I walked the entire day alone on purpose. It’s been good reflecting back on this journey. It’s been good that through my minor injuries, the camino has slowed me to a more thoughtful pace. I hope my life at home will be an extension of this.

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