I’ve walked early mornings for decades, as a student, a young and not so young mother, before work, and now, in my non-employed, but fully engaged life. I’m lucky that I have had amazing walking companions, as well as time alone, to share and process life. Walking is one of my writing exercises, so I always have paper and pen and in this digital age I sometimes dictate notes into my phone: Poetry, essays, letters, and what I want to say to the president or to my children or grandchildren. It’s a time to compose and edit.
I hardly missed a day. For years I walked rain or shine, but in this last year of rainy day after rainy day, I’ve been known to wait for a break in the rain.
One of my most memorable rainy morning walks was my second day of the Camino de Santiago de Frances last year, walking over the Pyrenees in France to Roncesvalles in Spain. We started out with an August drizzle and ended up hiking in rain. We couldn’t wait for a break in the weather. We needed to move on each day, to reach our goal of arriving in Santiago before the end of September or hopefully earlier.
I learned about being prepared with real rain gear. Carrying a backpack and walking long distances in waterproof jackets that weren’t waterproof and flimsy just-in-case ponchos taught me my first Camino lesson: some things are worth the weight to carry and some things aren’t. I would learn lesson after lesson on my pilgrimage. What a remarkable school!
From Orisson over the Pyrenees. Starting out wearing my Waterproof jacket.
Just a drizzle
My Camino Companion purchased an Altus Rain Poncho on our first day in San Jean Pied de Port. Smart!
My jacket wasn’t waterproof. I pulled out my “just-in-case” Poncho, nothing more than a piece of plastic.
Rain stopped and I’m dry. We’re walking in the right direction. No views on the trek that day until we were over the mountain. That’s another story.
Now at the top of the mountain and here we find WiFi and a help station. We’re dry, the rain gear stowed and I didn’t need mine again until much later in the walk. I left the jacket on the give away table at the albergue in Roncesvalles with a sign informing any interested Pilgrim that this Waterproof jacket wasn’t! It’s probably still waiting.