You Can Go Your Own Way…

Father John from Uganda
Father John from Uganda

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
― Rumi, Essential Rumi

Father John is a priest from Uganda, who currently lives in Sydney, Australia.  We met on the road, somewhere around Pamplona, and we continued to run each other periodically through the entire Camino.  He was one of the most inspiring people that I met on the way.  He sometimes walked up to 40 kilometers per day in order to have Sunday as his day of rest.

Everytime that I saw Father John, it became like a tiny miracle for me.  Normally, on the Camino, if you jump ahead a day or lag behind a little, you miss all the people that you have come to know as famliar.  So, I was certain that each time would be the last.  But, he would pop up again in the craziest places and the real shock came to me when I arrived in Santiago and he was participating in the mass at the cathedral.  He performed mass at nearly every stopping point along the way, so it was only natural that he should perform mass at the end of the road.

The lesson that I took from observing Father John, although I am sure there is more than one, is that the Camino is a personal journey.  The vision that I had many times while trudging along in the heat was that of the crossroads.  Four points intersect and four people arrive at the same time.  They each took a different way, but no one way is really better, just different.  And, isn’t that life?  We are all just trudging along, trying to make it from Point A to Point B in one piece.  Everyone will eventually make it to the end, but we all get there differently.  Each Camino is a personal choice that only you can make and only you can decide how it will be done.  Like Rumi says above, “Unfold your own myth.”

You can ride a bike if you want:

BicycleOr drive to the end:

You can make friends with a donkey, but he will eat your breakfast:

Get your own coffee, Donkey.
Get your own coffee, Donkey.

Heck, you can even ride the Camino backwards on a unicycle with someone recording you while listening to Right Said Fred:

I'm too sexy for the Camino
I’m too sexy for the Camino

As “The Dude” would say, “It’s like, your Camino, man.”


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