Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Camino 2017-9-28 I'm Happy Just to Dance with You

Walking is a privilege. A gift. That reality hit home last year when I walked with Daniel along Camino Frances. It struck me when I met someone who, on full recovery after months in a coma, immediately bought tickets to Saint Jean Pied de Port to begin his first Camino.

And it happened yesterday.

I briefly walked for at most an hour with Miss J from South Africa. She seemed like a regular person whose traveling companion decided not to walk the next few segments and stayed in Porto. It was Miss J's first visit to Portugal and she was smitten.

Then a curious comment indicated that she had written about her time in paralysis. Just a couple years ago she couldn't move. She wrote about it in a dark but heart-felt comedy "Memoir of a Lunatic: the Lighter Side of Paralysis". You can download or buy it on Amazon.

The turn in coversation made this 30km segment between Vila do Condo and Barcelos downright fascinating. She was just overjoyed at everything. The smell of the farm animals, the rocks, the dirt. The heat was much but she was grateful to be able to do this.

After we parted, as she was ending before Barcelos, I kept thinking about gratitude. Why do we most feel grateful when we've fallen? Why can't we feel gratitude all the time?

I forget at times how lucky I am. It takes misfortune to remind me most deeply that I am being given a new chance, repeatedly. The fact that I am alive is actually a source of joy, as many things in my life could easily have shortened it years ago.

So I walked wondering if I could be more thankful. The Beatles song "I'm happy Just to Dance with You" filled me ears as I thought of this. I might be as thankful as any other person but I feel I could be a happier person if I always fall back on an attitude of gratitude.

So I end today with a short hymn that, especially now that I'm less than 100 miles from Santiago de Compostela, I'll carry in my heart to Ponte de Lima. 

Santo, santo, santo
Mi corazón te adora
Mi corazón sabe decir

Santo eres Senor

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