Happy birthday to me…and 26km from Pont D’Arbia to San Quirico.
We left Pont D’Arbia at 7.30am after breakfast with Italian cyclists, Stefano and Patricia. Stepping out into thick mist, it was as if we were between worlds and time had stood still. The only constant was our walking. Step after step. A goal in mind but fluid acceptance of what may lie ahead to change it. Surrender. In surrendering we are free.
And so I thought about the amazing concept of surrender today as I surrendered to the length of my journey, my personal circumstances, difficulties on the path and a myriad of thoughts that came and went. I am reading a book called “Letting Go” and it resonates with my work as a FasterEFT practitioner. Psychiatrist, Dr David Hawkins advocates acceptance and the constant release of negative feelings as moving towards freedom. I also love Kyle Cease’s evolution exercise of identifying your fears and then tagging on the line, “and I love that”, as ultimate acceptance.
This may not be a textbook Camino, and I love that.
I may never get to Rome as planned, and I love that.
I may never be the perfect writer, and I love that.
I may never be the best Mother, daughter, wife and I love that.
I may not sleep well tonight on the top of a double bunk bed with snoring pilgrims, and I love that.
It’s about accepting stuff, yourself with all your imperfections and letting go of tormenting thoughts.
It was a beautiful day, really. Sylvie treated me to a birthday coffee and croissant at our first stop in Buonconvento. A long, hot walk followed through wine lands and a visit to a winery for a sip of the local vintage. Finally we reached Torrenieri for a tasty late lunchtime panini with fromaggio, tomato and basil. I had a birthday cappuccino and a sliver of traditional spicy Siena cake.
We reached San Quirico by 5pm and checked into the ancient Ostello Parrochiale at the church, which dates back to the 8th century. Several pilgrims were there already. Three Spanish ladies, a French and a German man, all walking to Rome from different starting points. We immediately launched into several languages and Camino comparisons with our well-versed friends. We stretched, showered, washed clothes and considered tomorrow’s route.
Sylvie and I left to explore enigmatic San Quirico, strolling through historic gardens then settling on a restaurant with a view of the old church to complete my birthday fun. We could picture ourselves in 10 days time with a view of the Colosseum, all going to plan. Not forgetting, of course, that it’s ultimately all about surrender.