(Yesterday in) Granja de Moreruela.
After days of temperamental weather, rude rains and wicked winds, the walk from Zamora to Granja de Moreruela went smooth under calm conditions. The Sun remained shy behind the grey clouds that surfed the sky, but it popped out briefly to shine on the Camino path before returning to hide again.
It was good to walk without worrying about the weather; so good that I decided to keep walking when I could have stopped earlier to spend the night at Fontanillas de Castro - 10KM from Granja.
On reaching my destination, I met other pilgrims who were beginning their Camino from Granja to walk the Sanabres path, and others who were picking up from where they left off the previous year. In conversation with one of them, I was reminded about the different ways each person tackles the day's distance - some stopping at every town for a drink, and others at every interval of 10KM for a snack or picnic outdoors.
Same goal. Many paths. Different people. Multiple strategies. Endless executions.
It's strange that even in the absence of competition, I still feel the silent urge to compare my journey with the experience of others. Questions like "Am I rushing the stages?" cross my mind and I slowly remember in each encounter or in the quiet moments while trekking that no two travellers travel the same, and even toward the same destination, each person has a different internal experience.
Doubt is a terrible companion to play with. It wastes our mental space and drains our life energies especially when we are working towards a long-term goal. Nevertheless, it is useful guest on the way to self mastery; pointing us in the direction of the obstacle we need to overcome.
As I journey to Santiago, there always seems to be a lesson to learn - lurking around a signpost, at a pilgrim's hostel, from a Camino story or even in the next step.
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