Saturday, May 16, 2015

Caminoversary Plus One

I'm a day late in posting this but I was waiting for something to arrive.  Four years ago, on May 15, 2011, I started my first Camino.  It was the start of a truly life changing event in my life.  I learned the limits I'd placed on myself were a manifestation of self-doubt.  Completing my first Camino shattered those limits and diminished - but never totally eliminated - my self-doubt.  I came back a more self-confident man eager to replace old limits with new goals.

A Shell from Fisterra for my backpack.
The symbol of the Camino is a shell.  All the pilgrims have one hanging from their backpacks.  I have a bad history with my shells.  During my last Camino I carried a shell I'd picked up in Fisterra, a seaside town at the end of the Camino.  I dropped it and broke it along the way.  A Frenchman I befriended early on gave me a shell he had picked up on an earlier Camino.  I accidentally broke that one too at the end of a particularly hard day for me.  A third shell was given to me by other friends met along the way.  I lost it before reaching the end ... though I was able to recover it after I got home.  It hangs from my desk lamp.

I picked up another shell from the beach near Fisterra on my second Camino.  I intend to hang it from my backpack as a reminder of what I can do.  To ensure it doesn't get broken, I had it encased in acrylic (it arrived this morning ... a day late).  It will not break but it will get beat up along the trail.  Like me it will gain character as it collects scratches and scuffs, each telling a story - stories that will make me smile.

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