Find a place inside where there’s joy and the joy will burn out the pain – Joseph Campbell, an American Mythologist.
Jane Blanchard, who wrote an excellent book about the Camino, Women of the way, tweeted the above piece of inspiration. The first time I read it, a couple of years ago, this quote really called to me. At that time I hadn’t yet completed The Camino. Thinking about what caused joy in my life, my first thought (0ther than family of course), was my bicycle.
Joy for me is when I’m out pedalling. My bike definitely is my happy, and my peaceful place. I first noticed this feeling after my son died. For a couple of weeks after his death, the bike stayed in the shed. I was feeling really terrible and couldn’t see an end to it. When I decided half heartedly that I needed to get back on the bike, the feeling of joy, as I pedalled, was overwhelming. And so it has been ever since.
Regular readers here, will know that almost one year ago, I walked The Camino de Santiago, and on to Finisterrre, a distance of over 1000k and mostly by myself. Early on in the journey this saying came to mind again, and it became my little mantra. I said it over and over to myself as day by day, I trudged along those seeminly endless kilometers.
Lately, I have lost that joy, as I find myself caught up in the humdrum of daily life, a big shock after the experiences of the Camino. I have struggled with that for the past year, since my return. Also since my surgery, about 12 weeks ago, even though I am now feeling well, that joy seems to have gone missing. Time now to hop to it and find it again. I am sure the answer lies with turning over those pedals a bit more often.
It is so true – Find a place where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain”.
As a footnote, I would highly recommend Women Of The Way as a more than worthwhile book to read if you are contemplating walking The Camino De Santiago. Even if you only have a passing interest, and no intention of walking, you will enjoy reading the stories of these women who were interviewed as they walked.