I know I have been quiet of late…very quiet in comparison to some but sometimes you just need a break from this world of ours. I had great intentions of relaying you all with stories of the Camino…but I think this really has to be done en route and due to the lack of access along the way and pure exhaustion on my part….well…I just didn’t feel like it! And thats the beauty of this life of ours. If you don’t feel like telling a story…well, you just keep it to yourself.
I could have told you of those solitary moments when suddenly, you realise that you are in a special place with special people or as I looked upon the rolling hillls of Gallicia wondering how the people survived amongst sometimes adverse poverty. Spain is indeed a poverty stricken place….nothing has changed there in some parts for hundreds of years…the old ways have yet to be banished by the older generation. The young people of this area seem to be almost non existent. What is there for them at the end of the day? There is only so much you can make from the land. But boy do they use every bit of what they have been given. Every little hamlet had a garden…neat rows of cabbages ..the most luscious of lettuces…leaks and onions…an array of vegetables crammed into every nook and cranny…..nothing is left to waste! As you walk along these little byways …through farmyards and streams…up hills and down hills….over ditches and through more streams….crossing flagstone bridges and wondering at the simple architecture…your eyes are constantly adjusting to the changing landscape….the cattle and cows been shuffled along at milking time….sheep as their companions….old ladies dressed in their work uniforms …the kind that my Nanna used to wear long ago….you become part of their world even if its only for a fleeting moment…..they have become accustomed to us…weary travellers calling out our pidgeon Spanish …”Ola”…”Buen Camino”..they might respond in kind!!
Somtimes I would have been with my father walking in silence for a time and I would smell the piggeries or the manure form the fields….freshly laid for the new crops….it must have been that time of year…..not the yucky smell you get in the car when you went for a drive in the country with you mam and dad….no..no…this was a smell like no other…you knew that only something good could come of this kind of stuff and you could see it in the soil…really rich red bountiful stuff…freshly ploughed…every nook and cranny…as I said.
The funny thing is that my Dad couldn’t smell the bloody stuff…years ago he lost his smell in a accident at home which nearly killed him…a small price to pay for your life…I suppose! I had to relay to him each time these wonderful smells crept up my nasal passages…..the early morning aroma of the forests…pines and glue kinda smells….even the smell of the waters in the streams…flowers and ferns….
I don’t know what I would do if my nasal abilities were confiscated indefinitely. It’s only when something like that is absent that you realise how important it is. We all take these things for granted and every now and then we realise how precious they are to us. For God’s sake…my Dad smokes a pipe and he can’t even smell that lovely tobacco smell from the packet…The first week of the walk he didn’t smoke the pipe but when we arrived in Santiago he became very friendly with a local tobacconist around the corner from the hotel. You could see the relief on his face as he took the first puff on his newly purchased pipe…”Jesus, I needed that….I was getting a bit edgy, you know..” he said as a smile washed over his face.
One of the main reasons from my notable absence from these pages is that I am now working evenings and you all know how much I like to gather my thoughts in the evening for one of my posts to the world. There will have to be adjustments. I was also tearing down old sheds and relaying lawns and enjoying our little bit of sunshine. I have discovered that it is better to live your life rather than relay it on these pages every single day. I have loved letting my fingers loose on these pages but now I will be a squirrel gathering stories of life just as they would store away nuts. I will aim to give quality rather than quantity. Maybe this is my excuse for laziness of mind since I have returned from my travels.
Or maybe it is the sudden change of season that jolts my like some invsible current through the air……..commanding me to step down and take stock of my life…what future travels lay ahead….is this my Captain Kirk moment…..What stardate is it…..by the way?
I saw this movie last night and I just wanted to share the really haunting sountrack….think of it as my camino soundtrack if you will….