Day 8 On The Camino, a letter from Maru Gonzalez
For the past 3 days, I have hiked through La Rioja, a province famous for its wine. With miles of vineyards and a picturesque countryside, La Rioja is one of the most beautful stretches on the Camino. But most of the trail is unpaved and muddy, which can make for a challenging hike- particularly when it rains. Today was no different. After several days of constant rain, the mud had become heavy, thick and wet. Initially, I was frustrated by the mud. I had developed a careless gait and paid little attention to what was in front of me. The mud slowed me down. It was a barrier in my path, a nuisance- and I made no qualms about expressing my complaints.
But as I trekked through the puddles of wet mud, I realized something. Mud is actually good for us. It forces us to be more intentional, to determine the best route and sometimes even reevaluate our path.
As an activist, I sometimes engage in social justice work without a sense of purpose. I concern myself more with the outcome and lose sight of the intention. As I transition from the physical stage of the Camino to the mental, I hope to reflect more on the journey and less on the destination. I will seek reflection, introspection and growth. And I will try to slow down long enough to see what´s in front of me.
So as much as I hated walking through the mud, today I learned to appreciate it. Hasta pronto!
Peace, hugs and buen camino,