I’m now a third of the way into my Camino. They say that the first third is there to break you physically, and I definitely saw how this could happen! Today (Day 13) was my first day with minimal pain in my body. On reflection of what I’ve been through thus far on the Camino I see that sometimes you just have to be with raw, unyielding pain. Grief will also teach you this lesson. You can acknowledge the pain, but it’s when you indulge it that it turns to suffering. I’m proud to say that I haven’t suffered from the physical pain on this trip, but definitely have been very connected to it. I have given myself permission to take rest days as much as I need, but so far I'm really feeling the forward call of the Camino and am embracing the momentum.
The second third of the Camino is the meseta, a plateau in the middle of Spain with lots of flat land and fields like we have in the Midwest. They say that this is where the mental breaks come, as you have less distraction and the landscape can create a dizzying mirage that will distort your perception of time and space. I definitely experienced this today as I kept thinking the village would be ‘just beyond the hill’ and that road just kept on going! On day one of the meseta I found it really peaceful. I have now learned how to avoid the crowds of pilgrims by leaving at 9am or later. I had creative ideas flowing to me and found the bland walk nurturing in a way, maybe because it is very similar to the Iowa background I grew up with.