Three years ago today I stepped out of the albergue in St. Jean to start my Camino walk. I was terrified. I had read that the Pyrenees could be dangerous and up until this moment I didn’t think I could make this 500 mile/800 km journey on my own. That morning, over breakfast, I admitted this to another pilgrim, a much older and wiser pilgrim who said to me, “Just step by step, one foot in front of the other.” I started my trek with one other pilgrim who was equally nervous and enthusiastic. He continued on while I stayed in the Pyrenees for a night but we would reunite a month later in great joy.
The picture above was actually from day 2 but still in the beginning of my journey. When I see this picture I see someone who had been deeply hurt and deeply broken by the world. I wasn’t broken but I felt broken and the Camino helped piece me back together step by step. Or rather it re-membered me into my more whole self. In this picture I see someone who had forgotten who she was fully and you can see some empty. By the end of the journey, my eyes are lit up and I am more myself than I had been in a long time.
On the first day I would also briefly meet Ana and we had no idea what that would become.
Now we are getting ready to return in 132 days, step by step, one foot in front of the other. We will return together although we know each Camino is different and it is our own. I can’t wait to return in this new space. I vowed on the Camino to not lose myself again as I once had and I have held true to that word. I am returning to the Camino in totally different space and wondering what this pilgrimage will hold this time around, more fully myself to begin with.