An odd thing happened yesterday at one of my meetings. It was the first work meeting with my technical crew since returning from the Camino. It's a conference call, because like most high tech places, we're in distant locations and can function easily in virtual offices.
The meeting went well and at the end, before I closed the meeting, I just started speaking from the heart. I'm not sure what prompted me to say these things, as it was definitely off topic. I described how I started the Camino expecting to walk alone most of the time. I assumed that the hours of walking in the sun, rain, and everything in between would be largely in isolation, with little interaction with others.
And, as I mentioned in these blog postings, I was completely wrong.
In fact, I spoke with countless people, many more than I described in the blog. Moreover, it was these very contacts that made the Camino so worthwhile, so memorable, so alive for me. It was these very interactions, so casual yet so meaningful, both ephemeral and yet so deep, that instilled upon me a profound appreciation for what a pilgrimage can do to you. I was connected with everyone, and my journey was better because of this. I would have failed if it were otherwise.
After describing this, I pointed out that when I started the company almost 20 years ago, I expected to be alone. I was a consultant and didn't need to collaborate with others. I'd work alone at my desk or at someone's office, with no need for working with others who weren't the actual customers.
And I was completely wrong.
I depended on those I've hired, and our journey was all the better. I didn't know it when I started, but my commitment to them was every bit as strong as for a family member. And though it wasn't what I initially expected, I would have failed if it were otherwise.
I choked back the tears as I said these words of appreciation. And of course, thank you, readers and friends, for walking this Camino with me.