I’ll push you: Something to learn

As Patrick and Justin continue their amazing Camino de Santiago across the Meseta, the vast open landscapes push Patrick to reflect on this very special journey, what the Camino is teaching him and his future legacy.

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By Patrick Gray

We have now passed the half way mark with regards to both distance traveled as well as time spent away from our wives and children. In this portion of the journey we find ourselves in the desert region known as the Meseta.

In the days up to now, we have required assistance in various situations including climbing a vicious hill and had the joy of meeting up with a fellow Idaho native named Joe, who pushed the majority of the day when we walked together.

But now there is little need for assistance and Justin and I often find ourselves alone in the vast expanse of the Meseta where miles seem endless and landscape never seems to change.

We have been told that the first third of the Camino is physical and the second is mental. I appreciate that now. When you are wrapped in silence and unchanging landscape with headphones in, you frequently find yourself alone with your thoughts. All the questions, doubts, and fears you don’t have to face when distracted by something as simple as changing horizons are suddenly very present.

While I don’t think the Meseta itself is teaching me anything directly, it is forcing both of us inward, and for me looking inward is challenging.

The other morning we spent extensive time in an old monastery in Carrion de los Condes and as I looked at the building, the carvings, the sarcophagus for each family member; I thought about how those items and carvings where someone’s legacy…what they have left behind.

I want to leave a legacy that demonstrates compassion, love and beauty, but haven’t necessarily done that well. While I don’t have the answer worked out just yet, I plan on doing so from here on.

This experience is the start of something grand and it is teaching me so much that I can’t wait to share. While I might be the horsepower behind Justin, I know that being here is not something I ever would have chosen on my own. He pushes me in ways I can’t adequately describe, but they are beautiful and I hope that others can see that, embrace it, and become better at life because of it.

As the Meseta is coming to a close, I am looking forward to new terrain and the beauty of Galicia. However, I want to hold on to these thoughts and the wrestling that is going on inside my mind. I am being pushed in ways I never could have imagined and look forward to sharing more as we continue the path to Santiago.

*You might also want to read Patrick and Justin’s previous blog post: 

Part 1 – The Journey Begins

Part 2 – Mountains and Valleys

Part 3 – Familiar Faces

and their next step:

Part 5 – Bittersweet