Impermanence

One of the fundamental truths of Buddhism is that of impermanence (something understood by all faith traditions) – the idea that things change moment by moment. Nothing is permanent – feelings, states of mind and everything else that is part of our experience.

I see that here in my experience of the Camino in many ways. Monday was a beautiful clear day, and even with the climb to the Alto del Perdon, the 28 kilometers did not seem that difficult. Yesterday, with rain on and off all day and no sunshine, the last two kilometers of a relatively short 22k day were torture. I was exhausted by the time I arrived in Estella.

Today was the second day of rain and at the juncture where a decision had to made whether to go the higher and more remote route or the lower and easier route, most people opted for the latter.

Not me. I opted for the more remote path. (Big surprise.). And it was incredibly rewarding. The first part was my favorite kind of hiking – narrow paths through the woods. Then, just as the sky cleared, the path opened to spectacle views. Despite the fact that there was not another pilgrim in sight in either direction, I found myself exclaiming out loud in wonder over and over at the beauty of creation.I arrived in Los Arcos feeling wonderful and refreshed.

And this too shall pass. Tomorrow may bring rain or shine, feeling of well-being or oppression, energy or exhaustion. I am reminded to accept whatever is offered, as i wrote the other day, being attached to nothing.

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