For us, the MAGIC started as soon as we began to dream of walking the Camino….making the final decision to do it, planning, preparing physically, mentally, and spiritually, and finally, setting off. From the very beginning, things just fell into place so naturally….so easily….a reaffirmation that we were on our “life path.”
Now, starting week 4 of our long walk, the MAGIC keeps happening in all kinds of ways. MAGIC on the Camino is when:
– the sun rises behind you and gilds the window frames of the most mundane of buildings, making them sparkle with gold highlights, bringing them to life.
– you meet someone on the trail who is a reflection of something you don’t like about yourself, thus providing valuable insights into yourself and the time to ponder them.
– the “hospitalero” in one of our albergues who gave us “feminine pads” for our blisters which actually worked to our great surprise!
– a hawk soars overhead in the wind currents over the meseta.
– we reach our albergue just before the clouds part and the rain begins to fall in buckets
– having passed by most churches with “oohs” and “ahhhhs”, you pass Santa Maria del Camino in Carrion de los Condes, notice the open door and know without a doubt you have to go in. Once inside, the energy of this 12th century church with the music of Ave Maria playing and the many candles burning….was simply overwhelming for me. Why? I have no idea but it elicited much emotion. We sat there a good 30 minutes. The feelings stay with me, even now. Truly MAGICAL!
– the concept of “time” falls away. Time no longer drives your decisions. It literally falls away. It is truly MAGIC. We walk all day, sometimes plodding, sometimes marching, loitering, strolling, singing, laughing, intellectualizing, emoting…… time passes. We are fully in each and every moment.
– decision-making also falls away. There are no decisions to make because when the need for a decision arises, the decision makes itself. For example, reaching Calzada de Coto today, there was an alternate scenic route to take which was along a dirt track. We wanted to take it but considered that the rain yesterday would have made it a very muddy track. We decided on the senda. When we set off this morning, I was feeling heavy in my mind….I was plodding along the senda, the path for pilgrims that follows the highway and the highway was busy – lots of diesel fumes and noise. We turned off to take the scenic route instead of staying on the senda as planned. Immediately, I was happier, lighter….my legs no longer plodding, a spring in my step. That was magic!!! There is no point in making plans or decisions – they are being made by a higher power!!
– your feet no longer hurt.
– you find coffee at just the right moment.
– you find out that they do make scrambled eggs in Spain and FINALLY learn how to order them in Spanish.
– you hear the sound of bells and see a shepherd, his dog, and a huge flock of sheep getting ready to cross the road in front of you…a magical photo opportunity.
– you finally discover that “Smell of Spain” you’ve been noticing along the way and asking everyone about is the anise seed growing wild along the roadways!
– you walk by a mercado and find pistachios and cheerfully crack, eat, and spit out shells as you walk, making the steps whiz by.
– you see this little silver tube on the ground. The you see it moving. It is a centipede, heading from my side of the road to Michael’s. You stop to watch as it meanders over and around objects blocking its path. You continue on and see 6 more in a short period of time. It leaves you asking, “Why are the centipedes crossing the road?” As yet, we have no answer for that!
– you walk the whole day threatened by rain but don’t have to break out the rain gear.
Magic on the Camino is the gift of being fully in each moment….appreciating and taking note of every new smell, taste, image, thought, and sound. The cares of your world fall away. You learn important things about yourself. Magic on the Camino is meeting fellow walkers from all over the world, sharing smiles, sharing meals, trying to communicate and laughing over the efforts. Magic on the Camino is being with the one you love, walking together in all conditions, learning the lessons that are there for you.