My DH and I were a few months away from celebrating 38 wonderful years of marriage. The children were grown and our lives had taken us to many places around the world, places I had never dreamed I would see, much less live in. We had recently moved to another country and were enjoying the adventure of getting settled. We were working on where to store Christmas items in our new apartment.
But I had other plans also and I knew they wouldn’t include him. I was going to walk the Camino Frances soon.
I didn’t know exactly when or how. I didn’t know exactly where. I especially didn’t know why.
I hadn’t made any transportation arrangements because I had no clue how to get from where I was to where I thought I might need to be. I didn’t believe in hiking poles – too dorky. I was a good (what’s good about it?) twenty pounds overweight and I’m being kind. I didn’t have hiking boots.
The only thing I had going for me was that I liked walking although I sometimes found it boring.
I had decided to walk the Camino Frances and I had broken the news to my DH just after Thanksgiving. Would he be OK with it? It would cost us money and time. Lots of time but I had no clue how much.
Not even my children really knew what I was up to.
“Mom’s thinking about going for a long walk.” What did that mean???
You don’t choose the Camino. It chooses you. And I had been chosen. But try to explain that to people who want to know why you want to walk across the top of Spain.
The ancestry of the Camino Frances sits squarely on a pilgrimage. But I’d never been religious enough to feel drawn to religious sites. I’d never felt compelled to visit places noted for miracles. And my life was relatively happy – no need to do penance or suffer to set things straight.
I was an older woman, inactive for many, many years, suddenly possessed by an idea that no one I knew had ever done before or even heard of.
It was time to give this some serious thought.