Walking the Camino de Santiago, I was often aware of my shadow. It stretched out in front of me in the mornings, drifted to my right in the afternoons. In it I could see my moving legs and swinging arms, my pack changing my body shape from human to something vaguely tortoise. Maybe the brim of my cap. Maybe the nub of a ponytail at the back of my head. Scanning through Camino photos online there are countless snapshots of pilgrim shadows, I think because seeing your figure cast down upon the path is proof that you are doing it — that figure is you, who after planning and dreaming and training and imagining is actually walking, one step at a time, on an ancient trail west toward Santiago. And so this morning shadow as I head out to walk to the office. The streets are familiar, the park I cut through one I have crossed hundreds of times. My shadow is bigger than I am. I’d like to think it is carrying some of the strength, confidence, certitude that I picked up along the Way.
January 28, 2015