6 May – Two nights in one of Castile-Leon’s biggest cities (Leon) provokes insightful contemplation of a brutally stark contrast between life on the Camino and life. As a Caminoite, one floats through time and space as a mere observer, effected by neither. (Lost in Leon)
One’s days are complicated only by the soreness of feet, where one will sleep and perhaps how to get something to eat other than a Pilgrims’ Meal. When out in barren villages and the empty connecting trails in between, these concerns are a relief, and they are enough. One is left in splendid isolation, accompanied only by transcendental thoughts that serve no immediate consequence. Perhaps they’ll lead to a better understanding of humanity, if that’s what your looking for; or just to discover how to more fluidly transition to that next phase of your life, if your lucky.
When sitting in a Plaza or Cathedral square in a bustling city, surrounded by the cacophony of noises and smells, and sights of humanity, it’s difficult to square with those countryside thoughts. It’s a challenge to mentally mitigate how they are worth one’s while. With the immediacy of living, of responsibilities, of needs and influences beyond your control, the significance of oneself’s place in time and space discovered while hiking the trails, seems to diminish. You seem to diminish.
The realities of thought and mind and metaphysical constructs of the open skies, seems irrelevant, insignificant. In the city, when surrounded by so much life, the questioning of how you exist rather than to what aim, assumes a more desperate role due to one’s fear of disappearing into the abyss of humanity. The city draws a compulsion for wisdom on how it live; the backroads of the Camino compels thoughts of why to live. It’s easy to get drawn to the allures of such a wondrous city and learn to live well; It’s irresistible to return to the silent trails of one’s mind under the open skies to contemplate on why to live; neither is possible without the other. It is easy to get lost in Leon.
Interesting Links (Lost in Leon)
- Photos along the Camino and throughout the Iberian Peninsula
- Return to the beginning of this Journal Blog
- Enjoy our Journal Blog about our travels throughout Italy