I look down at them. These shoes. The ones I’ve spent the last month and a half breaking in for comfort. It’s been all fun and games so far. Some hiking, a lot of walking, and some errands thrown in just because they’re feeling good.
I’ve never spoken to them until today. It wasn’t until today that I became tentative. It wasn’t until today I needed reassurance. Does it matter that I was talking to a pair of hiking shoes? Not really.
“Can you support me on this journey?”
“We are helpful to anyone who wears us," in my mind, they say.
“Did I tell you yet how long we’ll be together?”
“It doesn’t matter,” they answer.
“How do you feel about the unknown, walking for 500 miles, being my closest friends?"
"We're here for as many days as you tie these laces. Take care of us and we will take care of you,” they reply quietly.
“Are you as nervous as I am?”
“Not at all. Stop worrying. This is what we're made for,” in a comforting tone, they said.
"But am I?"
"We're doing it together, remember?"
Doubting, I went to the forums and message boards, to people I didn’t know, people with experience, and every single one answered, “The Camino will provide.”
“That advice is a little…ah, general! What do they know?”
“More than you. Do you have a purpose? Do you know why you are doing this?” my hiking shoes questioned.
“Yes. I think so. I think I know.”
“You have 35 days to figure that out. Your purpose. It may change; become clear. Don’t be hard on yourself," they replied.
“Pinky swear you’ll stick with me through all of this, through all of the unknown, for 500 miles?”
“Yes. Put one foot in front of the other each day. Look within yourself. Do your best. Remember your purpose. And we will finish this journey together,” they reassured.
“How did a pair of shoes get so wise?”
“We aren’t. It’s inside of you. It's where it's always been and where it will always be.”
“We” leave in a week and a half to walk the 500 mile pilgrimage called El Camino de Santiago de Compostela or The Walk of St. James. I’m nervous and excited and a million other things. And I have a purpose. It may be loosely defined but that’s okay for now. My hiking shoes told me I have a lot of time to figure it all out.
Hooking up for the last time until August with one of my favorite places on the web...Yeah Write!!!