THE HIGH PLATEAU
On the Meseta,
the journey seems unending
like my tall shadow.
The Camino can be divided into three stages. The first taxes and conditions the body; the second challenges the psyche and the third, without bodily distraction or mental analysis provides time to experience fully the beauty of the surroundings, and an opportunity for spiritual growth.
Walking solo out of Burgos, I enjoyed the solitude and even measured my pace to maintain it. Yellow arrows and scallop shells marked my way and I easily followed them. Today was the beginning of the the long Meseta, the high, central plateau. The Meseta is sparcely populated, largely treeless and windblown and is the start of the second stage when the mind is challenged and it is easy to become lonely or bored because of what seems an unending journey. The path was rock, gravel and packed earth...hard on the feet. To avoid fixating on any aches or pains and to pass the time, I counted steps, noticed the sound my sticks made each time they hit the ground and sang songs from old sitcoms I remembered from my youth. I thought about the history shared by couples or friends who walked the Camino, the possibility for new or renewed relationships, and the role some of us called, "Camino magic", played in favor of those who together endured the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of this journey. Relationships made or sustained by walking together in the same direction were for life. Regardless of commitment or distance and even though two might never see each other again, connection was made and although maintaining friendships a tall order...therein lies the magic.