It’s always the stone that reminds me. The almost concave steps in the abbey at Conques and the bridge in Cahors. The deep dip in the sill of the doorway of the tiny Eglise de Sensaq. The cobblestones worn to a slippery shine at the edge of the Monasterio de Zenarruza.
Stone is supposed to be permanent, impenetrable. So when my feet sink into the hollow places, I start to wonder, how many millions of other feet must have passed exactly this way? How many sandals, leather boots, and bare toes pressed into this same place where my Gore-Tex and Vibram now tread?
This week’s #CaminoTuesday theme is The Timeless Camino, and it reminded me of something I recently heard from another American pilgrim: “Spirit is what separates us [Camino pilgrims] from the hiking clubs.”
Spirit, yes…and history. The timelessness of the Camino is what makes it more than a cheap vacation or a healthy hike. People have walked toward Compostella for a thousand years. It’s humbling to step into a story that’s hosted both kings and criminals, saints and scoundrels. It’s perspective-shifting to realize how small my part in this pilgrimage is.
And how much of a privilege it is to be part of the story.