Camino de Santiago - Day 16

Of course when things don't look "neat & tidy" in our lives, we do our best to clean them up for ourselves and for those around us ... but I will continue to share in my blog as I described - with transcribed recordings that I have made during the day's walk... each paragraph is a new recording.

Last night I had my first very strong anxiety/panic attack since beginning the walk. The sensations arose during dinner and I recognized them immediately. This had been a fear in the back of my mind before leaving for the trip - as I have experienced these in the past in a very strong and debilitating way. I am thinking it had to do with putting out more energy than I was taking in yesterday - I don't really know. It's always been my curiosity to figure out "what the hell" with these things, but I have yet to have that answer in a clear way.

I brought myself back to as quiet of a place as I could by focusing on my breath, and had a lovely talk with Stephanie (my daughter) who reminded me of my own words "nothing lasts forever." I got a great night's sleep and this morning I had a nice breakfast. It's a fresh day - I would say 40F and beautiful. I plan on walking 30K and doing it at an easy pace with plenty of breaks and we'll see what happens. The only reason I share this in such a public way is that it may be helpful for others to know that "shit happens" and nothing lasts forever - so here we go.

Walking out of Carrion and onto the trail I am passing this statute. It is on the highway and requires crossing a busy road to get closer - but I am drawn to it. This is how I feel right now - this is how I present myself - down on my knees and humbly asking for guidance as I continue this walk...

Of course the trick now is to focus on the beauty that surrounds me like I have been for the past 15 days and not focus on trying to prevent another panic attack... they always have come in clusters, but it doesn't mean it has to be this way today. So... that's it for now folks.

I say a prayer with each step, asking the energy of those who have walked the Camino for hundreds of years to walk with me and help me to carry this strong sensation.

It's funny, for the first time since I have started this journey (and I think we have come 1/2 way - about 390 km) my left ankle is really speaking to me. I just stopped and re-laced my boots so I have stronger support for the ankle higher up. I am laughing as I record this - no time to focus on anxiety today - my present task is to figure out how to step with ease on this left foot. I was thinking that the first half of this journey has been hard work, but pretty blissful for me, and it appears that a lot of new challenges are coming my way. When I think about my life - I've always been better at beginnings than I have at endings... so this is maybe part of my walk on the Camino - to give the same attention to the middle and to the end, as I do to the beginnings...

Oh man - I don't know, I've probably only walked 6 km if that and my left ankle is really, really, sore. I gave my ankle brace away 4 days into the trip because everything seemed good and there was a person who really seemed like she needed it at the time. I can get one in another town, but ... my plan was to walk 30 km today - we are on a long stretch where there is nothing for 17 km. I just stopped and took my boot off, slathered Deep Blue all over my ankle, wrapped a wool sock around it and put my boot back on and tied in a way that I think will give me the best support. I think when I get to the next town - which is about 12 km, if it's still feeling like this I will get a taxi and take it to my destination for the day and try to rest this ankle. HA - I'm really laughing right now because, well I just love the way the Camino parallels our lives - and what can you do but laugh. The fog and the mist are starting to lift and it is exquisitely beautiful right now. I am thinking about writing a book - starting in 2003 - that feels for me like when this journey started. 13 years ago, hmmm