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3rd Installment of Through the Mirandoor.


3rd Installment of Through the Mirandoor.

 

Visions of the Road.

Chapter 62.

 

   So only a few more days now really, less than a week until I would be at the place where I had chosen to end my walk. That is to say except the small stage that I had left at the beginning before my feet were cured. I was, I realised, happy about the decision that I had made then, my feet had been in a really poor condition, and the sensible thing had been to let them heal properly. Now they were supporting me faithfully everyday, even the knee was not giving me too much discomfort either. My realisation became that it is often the fear of what might fail us rather than real problems, which can hold us back or de-motivate us from going on. I now accept that the mind is more powerful than I had previously given it credit for, and in conjunction with dreams, almost unstoppable in its quest to overcome the hurdles of life. Along the way, the evidence of this was constantly reminding me, as I met people who explained their own hurdles and how they had overcome. This Camino was hardly a race, just getting over the obstacles was what we focused our constant attentions on, letting the subconscious work out the inherent or learned fears that had previously held us back.

   I had a strange thought. Well, one that had not crossed my mind for more than a fleeting moment before. ‘What if I quit?’ I mean what if I just gave up this whole walking malarkey and got the bus to the warmest place I could find. What would that prove? What would I discover about my reasons? Well firstly, I did actually enjoy the walking to new places. I had, since deciding to walk such a long road, constantly revisited the routines that had let me see both the harmony I shared with my surroundings, and paradise on earth!

   I had realised that Santiago de Compostela had been only a way stop on my journey elsewhere, and that in some ways, I had used the actual Camino de Santiago as an exercise machine to work out my inner concerns. The way that the inner journey takes place is very recognisable, when you take a long walk across a huge country. Despite us all actually having the power to review and change our lives in a very short period of time, we normally loll about, letting the pace evolve slowly. I guess that the pain of quick evolution would feel too drastic to most people, so too with this road to a city in the north west corner of Spain. We could all of us, just fly there, get a bus or drive ourselves in comfort, saving so much time, much like the Pope. But this is actually proven not to be the way to do ‘Pilgrimage’.

  I now realise from these revelations why my dream of, ‘Peace on Earth,’ could still be a long way off. If the same said mentality is adopted by the majority of earth’s citizens, I could understand why we have taken so long to come out of the darkness to reach the light of comprehension, and are still largely Neanderthal in our behaviour towards one another. But of course as my own journey has shown me, like so many before me, there is every reason to hope, to imagine, that things will, change.

   So yes, I had already opened my eyes to the fruits of my inner Camino, helped along by the outer one, the physical Camino de Santiago. Yes, I could stop walking, and move on to something new, but the only one thing that I couldn’t do however, was not to accomplish all that I had declared that I would. This is why you won’t hear me say that I will see PEACE across the entire globe and an end to poverty and all the wealth of the world shared out by the end of the year. Even though this is actually possible in the physical mechanics of what could be done. You won’t hear me say it will happen like this, because, I am not able to control everything. And because of this, I won’t say things that I won’t be able to do. Therefore it has become very important for me, to do the things that I say that I will, to honour my declaration, for that would be a far greater failure to me.

   I had decided to take a slightly more direct route today to the next Albergue, because I had been assured that it cut off quite a lot of curves and detours on the Camino through the forests, and what with the constant rains that had made the ground like flowing rivers of mud. In reality I hate following Tarmac roads, dodging cars and heavy trucks is not really my thing either, yet it could bring greater amplifications to my sensory intake. Of course it would mean that the likely-hood of meeting other pilgrims was very slim. Scratch that! Up ahead I saw someone walking, and they were going in the same direction. So I figured that it couldn’t be a pilgrim, there weren’t likely to be two daft people chancing with death, hiking the national highway in such lousy conditions, surely to god.

   Talking about heightened sensory perceptions, I caught a whiff of vapour, reminding me of my dearest Miranda. I looked all about me on the road and saw nothing, except the haze of a person in the distance ahead, shimmering like a jewel, or was it my eyes blurring with tears as I recognised the yellow hiking jacket that Miranda apparently wore. I was about to call out to her, when I stopped myself. ‘No, let things take their natural course,’ I thought. I did pick up my pace a little. Well come on, a boy can try can’t he, to hasten to his true love? Nothing ever comes without any effort at all, does it? Except of course, that we are recipient of all that Nature and God bestows upon us. Despite that we continue to defy her laws of fairness and sharing and his commands, ‘Thou shalt not kill’.

   After about fifteen minutes, I arrived into a small village characteristic of this region, houses with balconies over the street and Maize being dried under the shelter these provided from the rain. No girl in yellow jacket could be seen though. I had hoped to surprise Miranda, popping up quietly behind her and slapping her juicy backside. She had told me that she enjoyed the playful nature of touching one another in fun. I had to agree, she had been so much fun to me on the few occasions that we had previously met.

   There was a bar off to my right, a sign welcoming travellers, so I decided it was definitely time for refreshment a warm drink, despite my desire to catch up with her. As I entered the bar, the brightness of the day outside obscured my sight somewhat and I became the one caught by surprise, a stinging slap across my buttocks. OUCH!!!

   I turned to see Miranda laughing heartily. My god did I love her laugh. And her hugs, as she grabbed me close into her protective embrace. She smelt wonderful too, her perfume drugging me as I fell into her intoxication once more.

   “Wondered how long you’d be”, she began.

   I didn’t ask how she was, the question answered, her smile said it all. I noticed that she had no rucksack but I wasn’t about to ask why or where she was going, I knew all too well, her appearances were beyond logic. I don’t mean because she’s a woman, far from it. I mean because of the odd timings of her appearances, and the strange way that she would disappear too. For once in my life I was just really content not to know everything. All I needed to know was right here, holding me close and smelling divine.

   We took a seat by the window overlooking the street, which was looking more like a river as the rains continued to lash the pavements. I dreamt that we were in Paris, city of the lovers, overlooking the Seine. We could so easily have been, with the view and the music reaching our ears, clearly from an era gone by, setting the mood for our eyes to meet once again, full of love. We became carried away getting to know one another better, and yet I felt as though I had known her all of my life. It was more about sharing our separate adventure stories and tales of coming together again.

   I asked her how she had been able to find me again, but she just smiled sweetly, and I knew that for some reason she was unable to tell me. She did try, after a brief silence she said.

   “I just felt it, because of our connection”.

   That would do for me, as I sensed that it was also a surprise to her.

   “So what about your job”, I finally plucked up the courage to ask.

   “I quit”, She replied. “I just wanted to come and find you again”.

   I wondered, no, hoped, that this would mean that the rest of my Camino could be shared with Miranda. But as you can imagine, I was feeling ecstatic, because she had just declared her desire to be with me, whatever that meant. I hoped that she had thought about the ramifications of her choice, quitting her job, but became convinced that she was not the kind of whimsical young girl who dashes into danger. She had shown evidence of having been rather astute with her material and financial arrangements, much more so that I, she had her cottage. I on the other hand had given away or sold all of mine, to have the experience of no hold no responsibility to material things.

   For every man there is a season.

   I asked after Emilio, he was apparently missing his new buddy, and all the ear tickling. We were soon setting off up the road together, holding hands and smiling despite the rain. By lunchtime the rain had stopped and we had covered some good distance, eased by each others company no doubt. To be honest, I couldn’t care how far we walked, as long as she would be my walking partner. We came to sit on a hill overlooking Bretanzos, the views almost as beautiful as those closer to me, we sat holding hands and made the kind of love you can, without taking your clothes off. Our energies passing towards one another in bright colours and rich warmth, I cherished the love carried peacefully in her touch, and from within our kindred spirits. Together we cherished the life that we were born to live, and looked out towards, were our futures lay.

   I had been planning to go on through Bretanzos as there was still plenty of daylight available, and Miranda agreed that we should make it all the way to Minos. Having already walked so many miles on my own, it felt so good for a change to have someone, especially someone as special as her, to make plans with. When we arrived later into the town of Bretanzos we were quite peckish with not having eaten much this morning. We took refuge from the oncoming storms in a small café on the plaza, and ordered food and warm drinks, a stiff Brandy too. I personally liked this town very much, it had a nice relaxing feel to it, and it was the first one I had been to, walking with my darling.

   We asked the lady for a light meal and a bottle of red wine. Miranda said that she needed the toilets, and I watched the world go by from our vantage point, across the town square. I couldn’t believe my luck if truth be told, to be finishing my walk with Miranda, though I held these details loosely to account. Something really odd was happening here and I’ll be blown if I could guess, nor intuit any of the reasons. The only thing that really mattered to me was that the universe had heard my prayer, my petition not to have to spend my life alone.

   Some may argue that the reason why I am still alone is that I am far too choosy, looking for perfection in a woman. Some of those girls with whom I have lived and loved, will no doubt have their own specific and clear understanding about the reasons for our separations. Some may have concluded that they found me too nice. I used to have a habit of overwhelming my ladies with romance, with gifts, with poetry. (Some may disagree) perhaps others would say that I was either on or off with my feelings. Yet others may tell a tale of possible interdependency issues and matters of self-doubt, loathing, emotional abuse and Narcissism. Much like the maturing process of most regular adolescents I assume, but one thing is crystal clear to me now. Somewhere in my childhood in my formative years, I had a serious lack of something that I craved, and never believed to have been sated by it. This also affected the type of person I would choose for a partner, and the type of person who chose me also. It affected the type of craving I had to be satisfied by the actions of that person, and the demands I would need to put upon them to respond to me in a certain way.

   This Camino in its’ infinite wisdom, has brought these and many other thoughts back into my conscious mind for review and critique. Fortunately I am single at this time, so have been able to go through this process without distraction, nor the need to complicate things with a partner. That was until Miranda showed up and just happened to smile at me, in that certain kind of way that ignited the fire deep within me for her love. I see that I had also sought the kind of responses from her that I have always thought would signify another’s dedication to me, the same kind that I would myself give.

   Then when Miranda had popped up that afternoon, some weeks ago, and taken me by the hand into her cottage, I had known quickly that she was the one, able to bring me back to life, back to where I have always wanted to be. Just what happened, that has made me seek this kind of initial proof is still a mystery to be solved, but I am sure that my Camino will bring to me the knowledge, when I am ready to deal with it. And despite me knowing that the spark with Miranda from the beginning was a part of my previous pattern of selecting a partner, I hoped that finally, I was over the drama of the past.

   Miranda was lovely, sweet and deliciously in tune with me emotionally, intellectually, sexually, and in all things caring. But I knew in my heart that her allure was not really about her physical attributes, it was about the way that she was fighting for me. In truth, it turned me on to be chased, to have flowers bought for me, to have someone romance me too. I love throwing my coat over puddles and opening doors for my lady, but I also love the same effort in response, whenever it is feasible. Equality is paramount I believe to make a relationship work. I don’t want to be any ones father figure, nor their lap dog I want to be their partner, their lover and friend.

   Miranda returned from the bathroom just as the food was being served, this girl had great timing, and we ate heartily. She had quite an appetite and she ordered more food, as she was still hungry. I wondered from where she had gotten such a ravenous hunger. She could possibly read the look in my eye, for she had promised not to read my mind again.

   “I seem to have been burning up such a lot of energy recently. I need to eat to keep my strengths up”. She added.

   All I could see was that despite her incredible hunger, she hadn’t gained a single ounce. She was as ever, lithe, petite and gorgeous.

   With about 10 kilometres still to walk we set out again into the afternoon rain, hoping for a break in the storm. Later and approximately an hour or so before we would reach our destination Miranda said that she needed to use the loo again and disappeared into the bushes. I could see where she had gone, but after about ten minutes waiting, I called out to see if she was okay. No answer. I guess she had eaten a huge dinner, maybe nature was taking it’s course. We were at a spot near the main road where it would have been almost impossible for her to leave without me seeing her go. I finally decided to go and look for her, despite wishing to give her privacy to do her duty. I arrived at the spot where clearly she had been, a few tissues left behind, but no Miranda. By now, as I’ve said before, I was aware of the odd nature of her arrival and departure, but I became incredibly sad that she had not told me or explained where she would be going and when she would return. This was for me both difficult and bizarre. Something definitely out of the ordinary was happening, right before my eyes, and all I could do was observe this weird science.

   In the end, after a further twenty minutes, I knew that she would not be back today. But it was definitely very odd, as I remember the topic of our conversation right before she had rushed of into the bushes to pee. We had been talking about where we might go, once the journey was over. She had not indicated that she would not be around to finish it with me, so I presume that she had believed that she would be. Miranda had known that for me it was very important that I finish this road to the north of Spain, and complete the task I had set freely for myself, and she had openly supported me in this.

   Her cottage was miles away from here, and there was not a lot to do in the vicinity except enjoy the marvellous beauty of paradise alive. Finding gainful employment in that locality would be virtually impossible for either of us, and of course, one cannot live on love alone. She had told me, that she had only been able to visit her home after the season finished, in the area where she worked, but now, as she had quit her job she was as free as I, to decide where she would be now.

   My dream as she knew, was to finish the Camino and then take some further months to get the book finished, edited and sent of to the publishers. This book that you are reading. She had said that if it be a sensible location, we could go to her cottage, whilst I do my writing. She loved to paint, one of her creative sides, and added that it would be for her a great opportunity and pleasure, to accommodate me, support my writing and express our love through fingers and brushes onto canvas. How romantic was she? It seemed like the answer to all of my prayers in so many ways, and I felt humbled still further by such kindness.

   Now that she had disappeared again, though I was sad, I was awash with love and the memory of her thoughtfulness. I set off alone, crying, and reached Minos, just after darkness fell upon me. The Albergue was on the far side of town, a helpful Police officer at the town hall building, pointing me in the correct direction towards the sports centre.

   Opening the door to an empty room where the lights burned brightly, showed me that another pilgrim had arrived here. The rucksack on the floor an obvious give away, but looking around the facility, showed me no-one at home. Part of me really hoped that this bag belonged to my dear Miranda. The building was large, unoccupied and quite cold, and Miranda’s presence would have warded off all my chills. Like the missing pilgrim, I left my bag unattended and went back out into the drizzle, in search of a shop, somewhere to buy some items to make myself a meal, and my stay here more comfortable. (Disguised as a bottle of Brandy) The medicine required to ward off, the chilling evening alone.

   Minos was quite a modern looking village, they had recently had a huge facelift, and it was very pretty as I walked along the avenue of blue neon lighting where artistic sculptures serenaded the village folk. Miranda would have loved this colour and diversity.

   Back at the Albergue, the missing pilgrim had returned and was trying to get the heating to come on. It sadly wasn’t Miranda. Apparently there was an under floor heating system here. How he knew I’ve no idea, but with such large dormitories I couldn’t see the place becoming warm in a big hurry. Ramon, from Madrid, had begun his Camino in Ferrol, one of the two possible routes of the Camino Inglaise. (English route) Apparently at some point during the past centuries, ships had brought pilgrims here from England and Ireland. Oddly enough, Ramon had come on the Camino without a sleeping bag. He said that his doctor had recommended he carry less weight during his weeks walking. Common sense would have dictated that! But seemingly his own common sense had not dictated one of the most basic and essential items be, a sleeping bag. If you were able to check in to hotels and the like it would be no problem, but here in remoter areas, it was downright silly not to bring one. Some of the accommodations do provide extra blankets for those pilgrims who feel the cooler temperatures, but not this one. It was no good me feeling sorry for him, I didn’t myself have things enough to share though I offered mine to him. He declined, saying that he would be able to sleep in his warm clothes. I’ve no idea how he slept in the end, he chose the other dormitory and made little effort to converse, probably embarrassed about his lack of preparedness.

   On a brighter note, my sleep was cosy and uninterrupted, dreams of sweet Miranda taking me once more to paradise.

So If you have enjoyed the three sample chapters from my book, and would like to see it come into print, please help me get it there, or perhaps I will get it made into one complete roughly edited PDF version, for you to purchase. Don’t forget though, any and all money received will be going to the charities I support. I make nothing from the sale. You have my word on this…

 

Peaceful Warrior.