My Camino Family

I am two weeks into my Camino. The days pass quickly, each day like the other. We wake. We walk. We rest. It is a simple life. There is not much to ¨do¨. Many of the towns we pass through are almost vacant. Often there at more pilgrims than townspeople. We stop and get a cafe con leche, a tortilla and if we’re lucky, fresh squeezed jumo de naranja. And then we continue on. One step in front of the other. The sun beats down on us. The birds sing. The frogs croak. People pass. ¨Buen camino¨ they say. ¨Buen camino.¨

It doesn’t seem like much. I don’t suppose it is, and yet, it is hard to put into words what is happening as we walk. A few nights ago, I sat at a cafe table in the street, outside the albergue where we would spend the night. Cafe tables all around me were filled with pilgrims. The excitement was palpable. The noise vibrant. The energy electric. We toast the day with frosty cervezas con limón. We laugh. We share stories. ¨How far will you go¨ someone asks. Leon or Santiago or Finisterre. “As far as my feet will carry me,” another answers.

It occurs to me that this is what the Camino is about. Just two weeks ago we did not know each other. In two weeks of walking we have become a kind of family. Our camino family, we say. It does not matter what we do. How much money we have. How old we are. On the Camino we are all the same. Pilgrims. Walking the Way of St. James. One foot in front of the other.