Laughing in the rain… All for one and one for all.

Less than forty kilometres to go until Santiago and the rain has begun… And my goodness Galicia can even compete with Ireland for that! Curiously though, there has been a sudden shift into the positve as the Camino takes yet another twisting turn. Two fellow peregrinos have become my companions and we have walked together for a few days now. Tonight we find ourselves in the town of Arzua in the aubergue ‘Santiago Apostol’.

Jeremy and Maggie have become my new companions since Sarria.

Jeremy and Maggie have become my new companions since Sarria.

I have met both compañeros before on the road several times but have never actually walked with them… Until now. But what makes a good group? What is it that jells folk together? The Camino dynamics are an interesting subject all on their own. I had walked alone for a while after Ponferrada and it was very necessary. Then there was the reunion with Billie; and meeting Eileen, both latter day followers of the gospels and fine advocates for the purity and practicality they can induce into modern day affairs. After I had exorcised the ghosts and become silent, a certain clarity was induced if you will, a sharpening of my focus.

A river in full flow in the Galician rain.

A river in full flow in the Galician rain.

Both Jeremy and Maggie are easy to be with and they are comfortable with my silence, having no expectations. We are able to sit quietly together and just ‘be’ without the need for the endless chit-chat that fills in the uncomfortable spaces amongst folk in the modern world, myself included. Maggie can talk to Jeremy without me needing to partake, when just a nod or a smile suffices. When we’re walking, it can be together, seperate, or a pair, with the other compañero either ahead or lagging behind. Sometimes a moment comes when there is a need just to work through something alone. That’s okay too, for one can always catch up later.

A good compañero waits to help when the going gets tough.

A good compañero waits to help when the going gets tough.

The first time I met Maggie , who hails from the United States, was crossing the Pyrenees on the first day… The dreaded but beautiful Route de Napoleon. She was really struggling and I was amazed to meet her again all these weeks later, still hanging in there. Both her and Jeremy, from Oxfordshire in England, have suffered with painful joints and muscle injuries but have the tenacity and guts to keep on going when many of our contemporaries have long since gone. Also noticeable is the sudden lack of peregrinos since the bad weather has started. The Camino is almost empty now and many of the auberges shut for winter.

The gutsy Billie and Eileen, taking a breather while battling their way towards Santiago. How they manage is amazing to a very fit walker such as myself.

The gutsy Billie and Eileen, taking a breather while battling their way towards Santiago. How they manage is amazing to a very fit walker such as myself.

And so to silence… At first it was difficult and I often felt panicked, embarrassed; looking away almost ashamed and feeling that folk were angry. Now I can feel a large space opening in my heart, not caring what people think. Oddly enough, most folk are positive and friendly. The silence feels as if it has removed my need to be someone outside of myself. I had no idea how it would affect me, but it’s almost like being a child again without the constrains of expectation that the modern world throws upon one. And yet not childish; more a sense of wonder combined with wisdom. I remember reading a Dostoyevsky novel in my youth (I forget which one) and there was a holy fool, involved. I remember then thinking how wonderful it would be to have such an open sense of creativity and innocence. Now, I can relate very much to this character by the way folk relate to me and how my pereptions are changing. All sense of time is vanishing and the stresses, strains and expectations of mammon and its associated world too. What will there be for me when I return through the portal back into that old world?

I really don’t know…


About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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15 Responses to Laughing in the rain… All for one and one for all.

  1. I hope returning through the portal is not jarring, or a shock. Thank goodness we have the ability to adapt, as part of our makeup, otherwise you might never leave the Camino! It has been so interesting following your physical and spiritual journey.

  2. Simona says:

    There are portals all around us, no need to look far afield. You taught me this, Poppy (and you were so right). Fear not, the next portal for you may just be in the heart of London.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Yes, after Santiago Cathedral today and the disappointment of the reality, portals are definitely not this…

      As for me knowing… I’m not so sure anymore. You maybe give me too much credit. px

  3. I’ve no doubts about your reaching where you’re going or the inspiration to sustain you,portals or
    not. A terrific story,Poppy!.

  4. Simona says:

    Sorry to hear Santiago is proving a bit of an anti-climax. On a more mundane note, you might want to try a piece of the Torta de Santiago, a sweet almond cake, with a cup of coffee before you live. Anyhow, your journey is not over yet… Finisterre, ‘the end of the earth’, and the Mare Tenebrosum await.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Ultreia… Onward tomorrow! I’m better when I’m walking! The sky, sea, mountains are my temple…. I am a witch after all!!!!

  5. christian says:

    you will make it to the end, not in your nature to give up. tomorrow is another day and it can only get better as your friend Simona states this journey, your journey is not over.
    re portals we have a date at bella’s when back in london. plus as the saying states one door closes another will open and if you don’t Bloody like it slam it shut in their face’s and open next door
    take care

  6. cornishtim says:

    “One might well become a holy fool oneself here” exclaims Reskolnikov. ” It’s catching”
    ( Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky )

  7. cornishtim says:

    ” A fool with a heart and no sense is just as unhappy as a fool with sense but no heart”

    ( Dosteovsky – The Idiot )

  8. cornishtim says:

    The Russians have a lot to say about fools!

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