A project to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostella in Spain this spring has been shelved because of the Corona virus. I had trained all winter because, after all, when granny makes up her mind to walk 800 kms, she had better be in shape. I lost 10 pounds and found I fell into a trance-like state as I walked mile after mile in all weathers. Montreal is blessed with a substantial hill that residents call our “mountain”. Many times I walked up the slopes and steps of the mountain to prepare for the notorious first days of the hike from St. Jean Pied de Port that begin the classic Frances Route.
Restless at home and lothe to completely give up my dream, I took to walking the track in my local park. I made it my goal to walk ten laps a day and to work up to higher numbers. Even under Corona lock down I am allowed to go out for a solitary walk each day. I ran into the problem of counting how many laps I had done. Of course I could just keep track of time and walk for an hour, check my pedometer for distance and head off home for my lunch but today, I hit upon a way of keeping count. I looked for a rhyme for each lap and this is the “head poem” that emerged.
ONE – Just begun.
But something is finished, a dream. What’s begun is resignation, adaptation, appreciation of this little Camino that just goes round and round. The Road is in my imagination.
TWO – Blue
Just like the sky battling to show its beauty through low clouds. The clouds are beautiful too, shifting, grey and shades of white, torn by a north-east wind. Let me glimpse that open sky, just for a moment.
THREE – For me
Alone, in quarantine, striding along with no one to agree that it’s a good idea or object that it’s not. Walking for my body, for my mind.
FOUR – “The door “
Subject of a poem recently published that I will not share for fear of hurting someone, for fear of hurting myself, perhaps. Decision made and firm.
FIVE – The bee hive
My neighbor’s bees coming to visit, coming to swarm around my home forced tulips, to take sustenance from them. Remembering them as they swarm for water in summer in my garden.
SIX – Fix
I can’t fix this. Years of “fixing” all for nothing. Time to endure now.
SEVEN – Heaven and Hell
Where are they? What are they? Who can tell us? Who can know what would be hell for me and heaven for another? Walking to heaven.
EIGHT – Late
Is it too late for me ever to walk the Camino? I should have done it years ago, like so many other things.
NINE – Pine tree
Standing in the wind as I pass the half-way mark around the track. Sure of yourself, watching the walkers, the runners, the dogs, the children. Putting out your cones every year with no thought, no deliberation, no agony
TEN – The pen
Solace, friend, helper, enemy, adversary, rebel, triumph.
And that’s how I kept track of the laps today.