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Land Navigation

Today started out wild. I mean wild in the sense of nature- wild. We started out walking with some guys. Excellent conversation.

Art, life, hope, freedom those kind of topics. The scenery was/ is stunning. One of the guys is a professional artist who is also a professor of art history.

After discussing certain aspects of art I decided to show him a number of my paintings. He loved them. He told me two things that grabbed me: 1) Raise the price 2) the way that I do color is absolutely unique. I told him about the high side of some of the prices I have charged. He told me to triple it. He said that the subject matter of what I was painting didn’t matter because God had given me these “color blind eyes.” He said my work with color is excellent. I agree. He also ask if I was dyslexic. I replied “yes” and he told me that many great Artist are. He really encouraged me.

Then Terry and I hit a grocery store. The other guys walked on. The path was not well marked and at one point we noticed we had gone in the wrong direction. So, we turned around. We both saw some other pilgrims. So Terry and I followed them.

I stopped to adjust my knee brace. It was giving me fits. Terry waited. Then the other pilgrims were out of sight. No sign. I looked at the map. I noticed that if we cut across this certain field we would shave off some time and catch back up with the other pilgrims.  Initial thought.

So into the field we went. Well, the path disappeared but I forged on, assuring Terry that I had taken the Army Land Navigation course and done quite good. Thing is the Camino map and Google maps were not topographical enough. At one point this old guy on the other side of the stream told us to turn around and go back. We were not having any of that. Terry saw a tree that had fallen across the small river/ steam (think 25’ across) and said he was gonna go that way. I said I wasn’t and I thought he shouldn’t. He said, “I’ll see ya on the other side.” I said, “ok, I’ll wait here to call the emergency folks in case you fall.” “I’m not gonna fall!” He assured me. This banter went on for a few moments.

Then I saw another rabbit trail path. I pointed it out to Terry and explained how this path would get us back on the Camino without backtracking. I think he was skeptical but I assured him that I was at the top of my Army Land Navigation class. I think I heard him mutter something about a very small class.

We pushed on. Neither one of us wanted to see the old Spanish man who insisted that we return and cross the bridge. It was a tough decision.

We pushed on straight up a hill. There wasn’t any real path. The rabbit trail disappeared. It was muddy. There were briers and thorns, my legs are all scratched up in places. Our shoes and pants got muddy. It was almost straight up at times. But we could not go back down. After a while it started raining. We were a mess but eventually we found the Camino trail. And after another 20 minutes of walking a yellow arrow sign appeared. Back on the Camino de Santiago!

No clue where the other guys are (still don't know). We kept walking. After a good 10 miles or so we stopped to plan for the night. Our best bet was a hotel that was close. It is clean. There is a tub semi hot water - absolutely wonderful! Turns out this place was built in the 15th Century and has ties to helping Pilgrims on the Camino. We could have pushed on another 5 miles but I’m glad we stopped.

Today we made the Camino very personal. It is our journey. We blazed a new trail (straight up a mountain). And yes it was wild.

Pray for our bodies. You could argue that we have now become hikers. Google maps says that we have walked over 177Km since we were in Irùn but I know it’s more than that. And even with all that distance I know I’m no hiker.

Of course where we are now is down in a valley. I know it is DOWN because of how steep it was getting down the mountain. I went backwards a good portion of the way to mitigate knee pain.

When ya get down know this -ya gotta go back up in order to keep on going. Life has a lot of aches and pains. They are temporary. Nothing last forever. I’m not saying time heals, God heals. I am saying don’t quit. Don’t do suicide. Don’t entertain bad thoughts. Reach out. Many of us care. Many of us will help. We can figure out your situation together. We can talk out options. We can help you explore your possibilities.

You have worth. You are valuable. You are important.

Buen Camino

1 Comment

Apr 13, 2023

What an adventure.

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