Oviedo –> Grado –> Salas –> Tineo –> Sumblismo –> Berducedo –> Castro –> A Fonsagrada –> O Cadavo –> Lugo –> Ferreira –> Castaneda –> Amenal –> Santiago de Compostela
You’ll never walk alone.
The first time I heard this saying was from my good friend and work colleague, Eric Schwartz. For context: at Equinix I was responsible for a massive, global business systems and process program and we were all struggling. As the leader, I felt responsible and as people say “leadership can be lonely,” which is exactly how I felt. Well, I think my friend Eric sensed that and sent me a huge Liverpool Football Club flag and emblazoned on it were the words, “you’ll never walk alone.” According to Discover Music on ClassicFM.com, “legend has it that the motivating effect of the fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone gave the players hope when all seemed lost. This small act of defiance in the face of adversity galvanised the Liverpool team, and they managed to pull back and win the match on penalties, crowning them European Cup Champions.” I will never forget this incredibly kind act by Eric.
As I was walking from Salas to Tineo I was struck by the same thought. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we are all blessed to have come into (and go out of) our lives, just like I have been blessed to have people to walk with on the Camino. But even when no one was walking with me, I never felt alone. I think I can attribute this to the love of family and friends that you feel in your heart, the connectedness to nature as you walk amongst the trees and over the mountains, and the belief in the divine that is strongest when you are still, not physically but in your mind. The Camino has reminded me that I will never walk alone.
Leaving Salas and entering the mountains
The morning walk out of Salas was pretty much straight uphill and vigorous, which is a wonderful way to start the day. About 2 kilometers outside of town there was a 250 meter detour to go see a waterfall or cascada in Spanish. This was a beautiful little waterfall and I took a short video of it to share with you:
My favorite waterfall poem came to mind and is very apropos for the Camino:
Let it become delightful as an exquisite fine wine.
especially any thought for what you think you lack.
as you listen in the quiet with a heart that is deeply affected.
The sound of the waterfall and the words of this poem made me raise my arms in pure joy:
After this wonderful little respite, my friends Loretta and Rosella and I — we were walking together this morning — climbed back up to the main trail and recommenced our journey.
As we continued the morning climb, we started to separate as I went at a slightly faster pace. The solitude of the Camino washed over me and my thoughts wandered as I observed the beauty of the land and listened to the slight breeze in the trees above my head. I loved this morning.
A cross on the Camino
Marking the Way…
Such a fertile valley, corn growing everywhere
My first view of the mountains a few kilometers from Tineo.
As I walked out of the fields filled with corn and/or hay, I entered the town of Tineo. The Camino followed a quaint, lamp-lined path above the city and offered amazing views of both the town and of course the spectacular mountains to the south:
“Viator horam aspice et abi viam tuam” which means “Traveler look at the hour and continue on your way.”
The medieval town of Tineo, a major pilgrim stop in the Middle Ages. In fact the Asturian King Alphonse II decreed in 1222 that pilgrims must stop at both Tineo and the Monastery of Obona (9 km past Tineo).
As I entered the narrow streets of the town, I was a little weary but also excited for the evening meal of fabada and the next few days in the mountains. I reflected on all of the feelings and emotions felt during the day, and a wave of gratitude rushed over me. I felt at peace.
Sharing a meal with friends (the fabada is in the bowl), after which it was time to do laundry! 😉
As I took my now fresh clothes back to my room and laid my head down to rest, I thought of lesson #4 of the Camino:
You’ll never walk alone.
Goodnight and Buen Camino,