It's like life sometimes, when you feel as though all the life lessons and the advice of those who went before you don't apply. Why didn't the guidebooks and blogs mention this ? Yet we fellow pilgrims discussed and decided that it was safer to risk the low chance of lightning than a high chance of following the road and be struck by a driver who didn't see you.
One woman I saw hiked the trail with a carry-on. I didn't judge but could not imagine how she got those wheels through muddier trails and rocky parts. I know my shoulder would eventually be shredded as well. All power to her. She walked faster than me.
I didn't learn a single name on the trail or albergue. Unlike the other night, I needed some real rest after the 41km. After I checked in and walked through the Mansilla de las Mulas, I treated myself to paella. Mmmmm, what a wonderful dish paella can be to delight a tired body.
During my post hike nap, a marching band played in front of the albergue, which of course isn't conducive to napping. Later at 10pm, after most had gone to sleep, they came by again. I caught them in the early evening as they went around town. The village had a celebration and the teens were playing to remind people to come over.
And at midnight I watched through the window a fireworks show, signaling fun and merriment for those who had the strength. I needed rest and slept in. And that's ok.
Life fills us with challenges I think, and at the end of the day, we realize that we are offered invitations for joy. But our challenges tire us and we don't take advantage. Whether I saw the spiritual metaphor at the time is irrelevant. (I didn't see it.) I saw it afterwards, but the day had passed.
May you hear the invitation that rouses you from your sleep, so that you can - if you want - join the music.