I had been forcing myself to walk up and down for a certain amount of km. I got tired of that. A friend was admitted to hospital, probably not with the virus, but… in fact, no sign of the virus, but another health problem. In any case, that led me to say: here I am, safe and sound, able to walk where there are three other users of the space, and I can roam around the world in my mind and heart while I walk up and down. I can focus on the wonderful people who are right there on the frontline of this battle with the invisible enemy that is Covid19. Then there are all the supporting actors in every possible walk of life, protecting the frontlines, as well as the backbenchers.
So my camino that is unlike any other calls on an element from my first camino: dedicating the joys and sorrows of each day to someone in my life. That person did not know, but I knew. Equally, the tens of thousands I am thinking of do not know, but I know. That is what keeps my feet moving. Speaking of which, it is time to go out while there’s nobody else in the lane! See you later…
Now, a word about the albergue. Singular, in more ways than one.
No matter how far I walk, I always find the door open in the same albergue. I do not know how this happens, but it is always the same one. I walk through the door from the lane into the yard, and then into the kitchen. The kettle is always on, and I am free to use whatever is there. In the fridge, on the counter…Before leaving this morning I had a toasted home made wholemeal muffin with some cheese. For my first rest period I had a cup of cafe con leche – a rare treat! then I just popped in from time to time for water.
At lunchtime, the hospitalera had prepared sausages, with some leftover potatoes from yesterday. Just what the doctor ordered. Shoes off, and some social time. Then, el vecino offered to bring the newspaper. Very kind, for reading later.
So off I went again. At 15km I decided: enough for today.
Who did I dedicate my walk to today? To the countless unnamed persons: daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, fathers, mothers – who are going out every day into the lion’s den. Whether medical personnel, or other essential workers – such as the pharmacist who will drop in my prescription when she is closing at the end of the day. such as the people who have dedicated their time and resources to supporting the elderly who have been told to stay at home, the people who are waiting to support the vulnerable who cannot manage to keep a level balance as a result of the Covid19 and what it is doing to their mental health.the delivery couriers, the bus drivers, the drivers for the Cancer patients, and there are so many more. It took me a while, but I roamed around Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, and all the other countries in Europe. Let’s not cut UK out just yet.
So, as we approach the vigil of Palm Sunday I can look out of the upstairs window at the back of the albergue, and I see some pretend palm trees. Good enough. I still have some from last year, so all will be well. at this time, everything is happening ‘like no other’. we won’t go back to normal. At least, I hope not. We have to learn from this not normal first.
till next time!
View from upstairs window: