As I put one foot in front of the other on this stony path,
I feel the pebbles push against the soles of my shoes,
A burning ache vibrates up my ankles, calf muscles and knees and I gasp for breath,
My heart hammers against my chest,
Onwards and upwards!
I am becoming more conscious of my physical body,
This strange vehicle forged of bones and flesh that carries me around this world,
I am grateful for the pain that reminds me it still works.
As my feet pass by wooden crosses, strewn with flowers and ribbons,
I bow my head and quietly acknowledge the pilgrims, who have trodden the Camino trail before me, but lost their lives along the way,
I pause for a moment to give thanks for them and ask for a blessing upon their families left behind,
Ascending above the clouds, I triumphantly reach the Col at the highest point on the trail and marvel at the beauty of creation all around me,
I give thanks for Mother Earth in all her glory – the rugged mountains, flowers in the meadows, sheep in the fields and trees in the woodlands below me,
I open my mind, heart and spirit to a new perspective and way of being.
© Sarah Justine Packwood, 2015
This poem is inspired by walking the first stage of the Camino Frances route of el Camino de Santiago. The route from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles through the Pyrenees is tough but spectacular. Likewise, ascending to the Cruz de Ferro or climbing O Cebreiro in Galicia are equally magnificent and I have used a photo from the ascent of O Cebreiro as the feature image for this post.
I have walked the Camino Frances twice now and each time the journey is different – it brings messages, life lessons, friendships, insights, healing and many surprises to you on the way. This poem features in our new video about el Camino de Santiago, which I have uploaded to my YouTube channel. You can watch it by clicking on this link: “A Poetic Journey along el Camino de Santiago” (Camino Frances)
If the Camino is calling you, I urge you to listen and heed the call!
Peace, love and light,