It was a “short” walk through mystical and enchanted forests today if you believe in fairy tales! There were toadstools and ferrets and spiders to see 🙂 What was beyond the green foliage, we cannot tell you because we stayed on the track, following the yellow arrows.
As always, we had rocky paths to climb up, entering villages and farms along the way. And then we have to descend… treading carefully to not slip and end up hurting ourselves.
We were graced with beautiful blue skies and sunshine once again, although the weather has begun to turn cold, and the autumn leaves are visible on some trees.
And now we are in Sarria, we have our last rest day tomorrow before we take on the last leg to Santiago! This is when apparently the numbers and crowds increase as this is the most popular section to do…
We have continued to greet everyone with Buen Camino, Buenos Dias or Ola and sometimes a combination of all three… 🙂 And we have maintained our enthusiasm and cheeriness from the start!
A fellow pilgrim said to us the other day, “When everyone is saying Buen Camino to one another, we all look at one another in the eye.” And that is a very true point he makes. It is because we are in the present and we are showing each other the respect we all deserve.
So today got us really thinking about how we say our greetings to our fellow pilgrims.
When those words are spoken, do we really think about what we are saying or are we just saying it?
And to be fair to ourselves, we say it with sincerity most of the time except for when we are caught off guard by feather feet people who have crept up on us. Actually when we hear people approaching from behind, we will stop, step aside and be sure to look at them as we wish them with one of the above greetings.
Ok, so we can honestly say that we do on the whole, think about the words we speak when we are on the Camino but what about outside of the Camino life?
Undoubtedly there are times where we say things purely because it (1) seems like the right thing to say, (2) is what is usually said or (3) appears polite to say it!
How many times have we agreed with someone else just because it is easier to? Or asked someone a question because it rolls off the tongue but we haven’t really thought of the question? A great example of this one is; “Hey, how’s things?” And if we were really mindful of that question, than we technically could be prepared for any response but sometimes we are not, especially when the response is “things are not going well”. Uh-oh, didn’t expect that response!
Likewise, with listening, we need to be more active and mindful. Our minds are busy and noisy and sometimes we are not fully present. If we learn to be mindful when we speak and mindful when we listen – our communication and interaction will not only be more sincere but the interaction will surely become more meaningful and real.
Now when we speak or listen, we will try to be in the moment. Our undivided attention will be on the current conversation to absorb what is being said and what we are trying to say – who knows, we might learn something new or understand something better or just appreciate what the conversation has to offer.
We now understand for us the biggest lesson of life from the Camino is to LIVE AND BE IN THE NOW! From this one main key lesson, many other lessons branch off.