A few weeks ago I met with Kurt Shaffert, the interim pastor for Warren Church and a recent pilgrim. Kurt and his partner Katie spent 10 days on the Camino in July. I wanted to glean some insight from him to help me with training and to get his perspective on the portion of the Camino they did, which is exactly the same segment I am doing.
Maybe it is because Kurt is a “man of the cloth,” but I felt compelled to tell him that I hoped the Camino would help me to be more comfortable with the unknown; to live in the moment and go with the flow rather than plan out each and every step in my life.
This Camino is a celebration of my 60th year and looking ahead to the next 30, there is so much uncertainty. How will our health hold out? Will our planning for a comfortable financial future be adequate? What is happening in the US and the world today and how will that affect our best laid plans?
There is so much I can’t control. I need to get comfortable with rolling with the punches and creatively adapting to changes as they come my way.
So Kurt is telling me about his experience over the first few days on the Camino. They arrived late at night to St. Jean Pied de Port and found a place to stay. I explained to him that I had made a reservation at Beilari in that same town back in early March. Kurt and Katie started their Camino the next day with plans to make it to Roncesvalles 27 kilometers away. After a very long day flying from Boston and taking a train from Paris to southern France, they ran out of steam and ended up staying at Orisson and continuing on to Roncesvalles the next day. No reservations. Just playing it by ear. I proudly told Kurt that I had reservations at both places.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
But, this all seemed perfectly normal to me. It didn’t hit me until Kurt strongly suggested that I use trekking poles and I told him that…you guessed it…I have a pair reserved that I realized perhaps this isn’t a great start to living on the edge and going with the flow.
This story has given Ray and I lots of laughs as we have told friends about my efforts to give up control on my Camino. And, it will be a constant reminder as I walk from town to town not to try and plan out the day, but rather to let it happen and deal with the consequences. It actually could work out for the better!
I am writing this in the free time I have waiting for my flight in Boston. I arrived at the airport at 1:40pm for my 7:10 flight. 🙂