I made friends with my boots today. I’ve never had an exclusive relationship with my hiking footwear, and if truth be told, I’ve been a frequent buyer of hiking boots at Zappos and REI during the last 6 months while preparing for the Camino. I currently own an assortment of trekking shoes ranging in color, style, and sturdiness, all of which felt a little too tight, a little too soft, and not quite right.
Seriously. I know I have a problem. But what I think it boiled down to was that I didn’t know what to expect. It could pour rain, be scorching hot, be miles upon miles of steep rocky terrain, or long rolling hills. My inner Girl Scout wanted to be prepared for every possibility and I was terrified of choosing the wrong shoe. Just so you know, Jon brought one pair of sturdy tennis shoes and he seems fine.
Today when we hiked the winding and rocky trail to the Iron Cross, (the highest point along the Camino at 1,500m) I didn’t even think about my boots. Or my feet. Or how many miles until lunch. I was in a constant state of awe. Not only at the beauty of the landscape, but the pilgrims themselves, passing me, or falling behind as we each made our way forward.
When I arrived at the foot of the cross I did what every pilgrim has done for over 1000 years. I left a stone behind. One I brought with me from a river near my home, and one that reminds me of my life up ’till now. Hopefully, by leaving it in that sacred place, it will allow me to move forward on my journey—hiking boots and all.
Kristin Jarvis Adams is a public speaker and advocate for children with special needs, helping to bridge the gap between the outside world and the inner world of autism. Her speaking engagements have included: Seattle Festival of Trees Gala, a benefit for Seattle Children’s Hospital and The Seattle Children’s Autism Clinic. Learn More>>