Day 14, 2016 - Villafranca Montes de Oca to Agés

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Walking into light,

pace and urgency quicken,

quieting the mind.

Because of last night's snoring serenade and lack of Albergue ventilation, I began walking earlier than usual. The guide I followed promised abrupt incline, so I measured my pace. My mind wandered to the millions of pilgrims, including Charlemagne, Francis of Assisi, Dante Alighieri and Rodrigo Diaz (El Cid) who had walked the same path, and, after the 12th century, about the protection the Knights Templar afforded them. I thought about how fortunate I was to walk safely through towns, cities, fields and mountains, meeting people who willingly offered a smile, a cup of coffee, a mug of cold beer, a bed and meal. That, and the rich history of the Camino kept my mind occupied, away from thinking about the upcoming daily challenges. I concluded that the light of the Camino is the people, both the pilgrims and locals whose country for a time becomes mine. Still pondering and with a smile, I rounded a corner and saw trees that looked like they were on fire. Instead of dreading what was ahead, my pace quickened as the "fire's" intensity faded. I was speechless; my mind empty as I experienced color saturation and light fade for about five minutes. I reveled in the beauty of the experience, astonished that nature can be so stunning.  That five minutes stays with me, just one of the remarkable memories of My Camino.