Making pilgrimage is a personal thing. You can share your experiences with the world, but - in the end - pilgrimage is a personal thing.
I watched my friend Steve Watkins share his experiences yesterday. He regaled eager listeners with his story. He did not preach. He didn't say, "THIS is how you must do things." He just shared his experience. It was lovely.
When you have experience, you begin to understand how much none of it matters. Steve said to one lady last night, "You're way over-thinking this." People want to have all of their questions answered. They want guidance. They want to be certain of what's to come next. Problem is - that's not possible.
First - There are always going to be surprises. You simply can not plan for every contingency.
Second - When you plan the whole trip, down to the minute, you loose a lot of flexibility. It's okay to approach pilgrimage with a bit of a free-form plan.
- It takes 33 days to walk from SJPdP to SDC? Allow yourself 40 days - more if you can.
- It takes three days to hike from SDC to Finisterre? Give yourself five days to make it - more if you can.
I love the notion of making pilgrimage. I love it so much that I will walk the Way of St. James a third time later this year. I will allow two months to make the trek. I will not plan too much. I'm just going to walk.
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