Stage 10: Grañón to Tosantos
Official: 20.75 km // iPhone Step Count: 23.07 km
It’s weird. On the Camino you quickly being to notice the suttle differences and textures of the ground. Pavement pounds. Gravel gives. Grass squishes. Mud sticks. Depending on the particular pains of the day, each surfaces has its noticeable advantages and disadvantages.
There are miles where I long for a gravel rock to bend and fold my foot over. There are times when I pray for fields and grass to ail my swelling feet. There are times I pray for pavement covered inclines to relieve the tension from the front of my feet. There are times I wish for gravel declines to slowly skid down and shift the weight from my back.
Each day. Each kilometer. Each step. Each are a new opportunity, a new challenge, a new example of our greater life.
We cannot control the road that we travel upon, we can only control the steps we take.
Sometimes we must zig-and-zag down the painful declines to avoid damaging our knees escaping even greater challenges down the road.
Sometimes we must sidestep the pounding pavement of life and walk along the side gutter in the weeds, where the humbled ground is more forgiving.
Sometimes we misstep and misjudge our walk, and try as we might, we stumble, twist an ankle, and fall.
Nonetheless, through the pain and embarrassment, we must take another step.
If the Camino can teach anything, it is that we can always take one-more-step.
Through pain, one more step.
Through embarrassing, one more step.
Through isolation, one more step.
Through loneliness, one more step.
Through depression, one more
Through failure, one more step.
Even when we think we cannot, one more step is always possible.
Even when we think we’re alone, and have no one there to help pick us up. Just a few short steps behind us, another pilgrim is there to help you walk one-more-step.
One-more-step, that is the difference.
In each step, a lifetime of choices are made.
We can walk alone and trudge ahead at great speed. Step by step moving onward. Sidestepping every problem and ploughing past each solution. Eventually, however, our body will get weak. We will stumble, fall, and have no one there to help pick us up, and will have to either wait or limp, painful ahead.
Or we can walk with others and go great distances.
Lock step with other pilgrims we can alert others of the wide puddles, the painful rocks, the slippery stones, and the sagging vines. Together, pounding on the pavement we smooth the road with one another and each step lightens the next.
When we stumble, we can check-in with one another.
When we fall, we can pick one another up.
When we feel that we cannot take another step, we can push forward with smiles and laughter.
When we take another step, walking beside others, we can go great distances.
When we walk with other pilgrims, we can walk the Camino de Santiago
When we walk with one another, we can walk through life.