When one walks the Camino, the traditional “Camino Way”, is to stay the night in the Albergues, that are located all across the way. An Alburgue is a hostel, which means you share in all the common spaces (kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms). A typical Alburgue has several rooms with multiple bunk beds in each room. Needless to say, you are in close quarters with all your fellow pilgrims. I remember our first night of the Camino we were in a very large hall, that had maybe 40 bunk beds in it!
When you are living this close to your fellow pilgrims, it is important regardless of how tired you are, to practice “little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness” with your fellow pilgrims. You see that is the grease needed to keep the gears from not grinding.
You build a community of fellow pilgrims, when you walk the Camino. You share the joys and the pains of the walk together and you experience a close fellowship with those you meet along the way. This, I found, helped me when I was tired and worn down, to be “the best version of myself” in those close quarters.
As is often the case, the lessons of the Camino apply to our everyday lives too. Take for example our families. You see, building and growing our family relationships, is hard work. All our families experience times when we are worn down, tired, stressed and we can not even sometimes be in the same room with each other. Yet just like the fellow Camino pilgrims, we have walked a long way together and we have shared the joys and sorrows and pain. What we must remember, though, we need to keep those gears from grinding with our little acts of thoughtfulness, encouragement, and praise, sown and watered with kindness. We also must repent (quickly) for thoughtless words, and forgive more quickly.
The fruit will become obvious in the ways your relationships open up and in the joy that begins to permeate the atmosphere of your home.
Blessings and all good,
Photograph of the Week
During a recent summer trip to Colorado, I had the chance to hike in through some Aspen tree groves. They are the largest living organisms in the world, as the trees are all interconnected together, just like us. We are also all connected together and it is important to remember to take care of each other.