Stage 12: Atapuerca to Burgos
Official 19.83k // iPhone Step Count 20.1km
Into the bustling city of Burgos there are two paths. One that is well marked along industrial buildings, factories, the airport, and the concrete jungle of a metropolis. The other is off the main path, it is not well marked and is difficult to follow. Yet, while the path is not well marked, it is well worn.
Trusting the well worn path.
It seems that in life we must always trudge along the well marked path. Following the markers that our culture highlights through life.
A golden arrow pointing towards the next big attraction.
A golden arrow pointing towards the newest gadget.
A golden arrow pointing towards the job that’ll bring the most money.
A golden arrow pointing towards some pointless celebrity.
A golden arrow pointing towards something else we’re told we’ll need, enjoy, or must do regardless of our own ambition.
While the golden arrow might point towards remarkably wonderful things, a well worn path along a different route might steer towards even greater opportunities.
In our case, the well worn path towards Burgos cuts past the industrial factories and pavement. It welcomes you into a riverside park that when discovered carries the countryside, we pilgrims have known, into this sprawling city.
In town pilgrims are easy to spot. We hobble around like the tin man lacking oil our stiff legs straining to climb even a street curb. Like a puppet whose strings have been cut, we wobble with wayward confidence forcing our bodies to the nearest shop. If it is not our movements that force out of the crowd, it is our simple wardrobe that we see one another wear daily.
The golden arrows of our American culture suggest that we must own an endless wardrobe. Yet, a pilgrim’s simple backpacks can carry no more than a two-day rotation of outfits. This well worn path might have something to teach about simplicity that the golden arrows of our culture fail to instill.
We can survive with very little. No let me correct that, we can be happy with very little. No once more, we can be fulfilled with very little.
With only two pants, three shirts, three socks, and three pairs of underwear (one was lost some cities back so now just two), I even feel I might have too much strapped to my back. We wear endless costumes to impress others, might the disguises we already own be enough, perhaps even too much?
There is something immensely humbling to walk with everything you own and need and know that you have enough. That simplicity allows for a greater grace to enter. Rather than focusing on what to purchase next, we’re allowed time to laugh and greet others with humble hearts. Our intentional poverty allows us to focus on what truly matters.
Avoiding the glamor of the golden arrow isn’t easy, it’s draw is infinitely appealing, but if we are willing to wade through waist deep weeds to find the well worn path we might discover a beautiful simplicity that a concrete laden factory could never manufacture.