When I walked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain a few months ago, I relearned old lessons, lessons of motion and feeling.
I hiked down country roads and byways, my face in the chilly wind, the weight of my pack on my shoulders and lower back, my legs pulling me along, the sky clearest blue – no clouds mile after mile, sun warming my neck. All the time I was heading west toward what is called “the End of the World” in Finisterre, the last outcropping of Europe.
Along the dirt path were wild large yellow primroses, whispering streams of runoff from the succulent fields, waysides of violet and gold ground-cover bloom, grass so fresh. Nothing around me old or dying warbling birds all the way.
Hills pale green with early leaves, pastures deep green, stone walls speckled with heavy moss, plums and apples in bloom. From the early afternoons toward evening, I saw so many butterflies: cabbage whites, sulfurs, blues, fritillaries, many in randori play and mating.
I was aware of the correspondence of that environment with the environment of southwestern Ohio where I live, the distance of four thousand. miles reduced to sight and touch and sound and fragrance. Balanced in my senses, the two worlds did not seem different or similar or the same or separate. Neither one was home. Neither one was foreign. Linked by observations and associations, they were simply where I was, where I was going, and who I was.
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I'll be back again next week with notes for the third week of early summer, In the meantime, feel where you are, and therefore who you are.