Ten years ago, on the 6th of April in 2012, D and I walked out of St. Jean Pied de Port on the Camino de Santiago. I remember it was cloudy and cool. The Basque woman in the Camino office told us to go up into the mountains instead of taking the canyon. We followed her advice. We stopped in Orisson and ate soup. We walked all the way to Roncesvalles where I had the greatest shower of my life.
On that day, I did not know that I would write a book about my experience, publish that book as an ebook, and reach a lot of people. On that day, I had no idea where I was going (although there was the distant Santiago de Compostella) on my walk or in life. I was just doing what felt right.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. This post is about the beginning of the journey. There is so much joy and giddiness in the beginning of things when some parts of the journey are uncertain. Wow, I’m going to do this. It’s exciting.
I had read books and seen The Way. I had trained and bought a pair of walking shoes. I had a backpack and a guidebook. However, I had no idea what the walk actually was until I was doing it. My Camino experience turned out to be better than watching The Way, and I say that with great love for that film.
I like the not knowing when I embark on something. It’s fun to stumble around, and there’s less pressure to be a certain way. My writing mentor likes to say that in the beginning, anything is possible. I’ve written a lot of beginnings with no middles and ends. Sometimes it takes a while to find the middle. In many ways, I still feel like I’m in the middle after the beginning in St. Jean Pied to Port.
On the 6th, I started walking.
On the 7th, my legs were stiff, but I kept walking.