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Camino Blog 5 – Acceptance Day

This day we dedicated to acceptance.
It started with the alberge we settled on in Villa Mazarife.  Having struck out from Leon with all flags flying, we were over the flat country and into the town by 1 pm.  Our hostel was large 48 beds, bunk beds, coed – a large shared bathroom.
What’s interesting is accepting the arrangement.  You have to have your stuff for the night arranged for before, say 8 pm.  At the same time, you need your next day logistics all worked out so you can get up and out with a minimum of fuss [and very little disruption to fellow inmates – some of whom are still asleep.
Creeping around in the dim dark with very little visual and recourse to an Ill informed touch sense becomes the order of the day – I mean night.  Trying to anticipate every potential need and place articles at optimum range for easy memory = well, too taxing.
So at 5:30 the ritual of packing up and leaving is pretty special.  I had a taste of it in the night when I had to arise to the call of nature.  I fumbled for my light.  While doing that my air pillow got away on me in the dark.  When I found my brand new  headlight, [ Ike to be attached to my head] I could turn it on, and down, but not off.  So awake in the middle of my jet-lagged night, I am trying to quell a bomb so I avoid inadvertently waking my 47 sleeping neighbours and feeling like the dumbest kid in class ’cause I can’t figure out how to turn my damn light off.
But did get bundled up and out on the road by 6 and off in the cool pre-dawn for Astorga.  Sailing slowly across irrigated flatland the town never seemed to approach.  When we finally got there, the road veered left and coffee, breakfast, etcetera had to wait.  Acceptance indeed.
Transiting a long flat irrigated plain, we talked about accepting our kids – despite their provocations and our opinions.  We spoke of accepting our spouses as truly different people from us.  And ourselves – how hard it is to just accept our bodies – even at ages 65 +.  Who are we impressing?  Who will reject us for how we look now?  But as a subtext it runs through every day.
Well, we’ll be trim after this!
And the acceptance by our fathers – what a rich vein that is with men.  Never feeling good enough, trying to please on one hand and be ourselves with other.  To this implacable totem.
And after that one, ourselves to ourselves – that we are enough.  Where did that harsh implacable judge come from?  And how did our “original blessing” come to be replaced by all this carping and sniping at the self?
All this while slogging up a red path green hill.  Rain getting it on and wet gear out in full – hot underneath but at least dry.  Red mud starting to clump up on boots and, for me, an occasional stone sneaking in – which you have very vigilant about.
And this hill and another hill after that.  Finally, we’re on top, we think.  Another valley and another climb.  Why??? More acceptance.
Finally, a grand view of Astorga – rounded cathedral at the Center –  but we’re very tired – we make a deal to stop today in San Guisto 5 k short of Astorga.  It’s a good move.

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Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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