The 40th day, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair met a the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes.
The Tall-man-with-bright-eyes wanted to cook for her and other pilgrims, so she offered to help with the food shopping . As they were walking in the old town through the empty streets, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair asked:
-« So, Tall-man-with-bright-eyes. Are you enjoying the way?
-No, I hate it !
-Why do you hate it?
-It is the travel you see, I hate travelling.
-What exactly is bothering you?
-I don’t like the walking part and there are so many people in the dormitory, I can’t sleep properly. The only part I enjoy is cooking for others and sharing the meal in the evening.
-And why are you doing the camino ?
-For the challenge, to get out my comfort zone. »
The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair was very surprised. It was the first time since she started the camino that she was meeting someone who doesn’t enjoy the experience. That evening she told me: « You see, even when I went to the shop with him I had the feeling he wanted to be on his own. And again in the kitchen. He looked stressed by the noise and the crowd. But why is he doing the camino if he hates walking ? This seems so strange to me! » I didn’t have the answer to her question, so I remained in silence.
On the 41st day the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair started to walk as the sun was rising. She noticed the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes walking ahead of her. She didn’t try to catch up with him. She knows how special is this time of the day. Instead, she did a detour, went up the hill and once in the middle of the vineyard she stopped to contemplate the first lights of the day. She filled herself with all this light and all the colours of the sky and the sun, and then, she went on.
An hour later, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair reached a new village. Despite all the sun energy she absorbed, her hands were frizzing and she decided to stop in the first bar on her way. She entered and ordered a big cup of tea. The Tall-man-with-bright-eyes was sitting there, enjoying his coffe. He smiled at her, and she decided to join him. As she was sitting down opposite to him, the tall-man-with-bright-eyes started the conversation:
-« Good morning, this sunrise was beautiful isn’t it?
-Good morning! Yes, it was! Also, it is frizzing this morning.
-Tell me Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair, why did you start your way from so far away? Why walking for so long?
-You see, to me this journey is a process. There is so many things I need to learn, and to experience. I need time for it. The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair smiled. I started from so far away, because it was closed to my grand ma house and it was meaningful to me to start there. And when I decided to go to Santiago I had theses objectives: I wanted to meet and share with people, I wanted to get inspired and learn. And walking everyday is great for me, I love hiking and being in the nature.
The Tall-man-with-bright-eyes smiled back.
-You express very well yourself when it comes to talk about how you feel and what you want.
-Thank you, I am learning because I realised it is so important in life. »
Other pilgrims were arriving and greeting the young woman and the tall man. A Smart-Asian-boy left his bag next to the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes, who reached for his wallet. He took out few coins and discretely slipped it into the boy’s bag.
-« You are very generous, said the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair. I admire your generosity, I know how important it is, but I find difficult to be generous with my money.
-I have too much of it, I prefer to give it and it will make him happy because he will feel lucky and will probably want to share his luck with someone else.
-Yes that is true, I know it is a positive circle and still I know I need to learn more about generosity.
-Before I left for the camino, I emptied my house, I gave away lot of things. I had so much stuff I didn’t need! I also had too much projects, so I narrowed down to 3 projects and I can’t start a new one before finishing theses ones.
-What are your projects about? » asked the Young-woman-with-fire-in-the-hair
And the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes started to talk about his projects. He looked now totally relaxed and happy. He was smiling, and he was doing gestures with his hands. The Young-woman-with-fire-in-the-hair could see and feel his passion for working with his hands.
The conversation went on as they went out the bar. They walked for an hour and the Young-woman-with-fire-in-the-hair asked again:
-« Why do you hate being here?
-I hate it because of the journey, because I don’t enjoy walking on this track and because I can’t really sleep at night. And if I decide to stay one day in one place to get some rest, then I know I will loose track with all my new friends. This is difficult.
-Yes, it is true. That is difficult for me too. Also, it is part of the camino: we don’t choose who we meet and who we walk with, it just happens. And you can always ask for the contact details of your new friends. »
The silence was the first answer of the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes. But after a while he said « Also, I don’t have so many friends here… » . The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair didn’t understand what he really meant and continued walking. Few minutes later, the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes stopped and said to the young woman that he was taking a break and she should continue walking.
That evening the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair and the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes stayed at the same place. It was spacious, new, comfortable, with a great kitchen but the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes looked so tired and tensed that the Young-woman-with-her-hair didn’t try to talked to him.
The morning if the 42nd day she left very early and she walked a long distance. She arrived to the next destination early and had some time on her own before the other pilgrims arrived. When they came, she made some tea for them and they all sat in the garden. The Friendly-girl-with-short-hair asked the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair:
-« Do you know the Tall-man-with-bright-eyes?
-Yes, I do. I walked a bit with him yesterday.
-He left the camino today. I don’t really know why but I know he couldn’t sleep well and looked tired.
-Really? So he left… »
The Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair was surprised but also happy for him. That evening she wrote him a note:
« Hello Tall-man-with-bright-eyes, I heard from Friendly-girl-with-short-hair that you decided to leave the camino. I was a bit sad to realise there won’t be any other nice conversation as the one we had at the café, also I was mainly happy for you. Life is too short to inflict Hello Tall-man-with-bright-eyes, I heard from Friendly-girl-with-short-hair that you decided to leave the camino. I was a bit sad to realise there won’t be any other nice conversation as the one we had at the café, also I was mainly happy for you. Life is too short to inflict ourself to do things we hate doing. So congratulation on your decision!
I could have told you the other day at the bar and I want to write it now: since I am on the camino I realised that my biggest challenge in life is to be really kind and truly happy with myself. So I can let my happiness shine for others and experience and share more Love. This is what I am now learning to do on my way.
Life is a camino, therefore I wish you buen buen camino Tall-man-with-bright-eyes!
That evening, the Young-woman-with-fire-in-her-hair sat outside to look at the stars. And I spent a long time contemplating the fire of joy burning in her hair.