The Six Ways to Santiago in the documentary Walking the Camino are not literal paths but the witnessing of the journey for six individuals. The six insights that I walked away with from the different experiences were these:
- Letting go of the ego is good for the soul. This quote came from a woman who struggled with her sense of competition. Everyone passed her on the trail and she had to learn to go it at her own pace.
- A pilgrimage is an opportunity to bond with others. A man who lost his wife used this trip to bond with a lifelong friend.
- An unexpected approach can lighten your load. One young woman expected to hike the trail alone only to connect with someone who could keep pace with her. He had a small pack to challenge himself. She had a large pack for all she might need. An expert alluded to the idea that the bags we carry can represent fear in our lives. [That changes the perspective for me of Cheryl Strayed’s backpack in the book Wild. She named it Monster]
- Living in the moment is okay for a while. Another woman began the pilgrimage at a time when everything else in her life was over or uncertain. Her companion pointed out the pilgrimage was an uncertain experience but for her, life after the pilgrimage wasn’t the same. There was this moment and what should happen next.
- Sometimes your body is a mirror for the journey. One guy on the trip went through a series of ailments. His pain made it obvious for me to notice that any of the six people on this journey who experienced pain were relieved of that pain by the time they made it to Santiago.
- The journey is yours. One pilgrim was a sister who had her own spiritual reasons for the journey. She was traveling with her brother who was there for fun and adventure. She could not make him believe but she did realize her journey needed to be different than his so she had to set some boundaries.
What about the documentary made you think? If you haven’t seen it, which of the journey most resembles yours?