Per my suggestion as well as Chaney's, we decided today would be a good day to try silence. I have been thinking since before the trip that, for me, walking the Camino would be about silence and learning to be quiet and listen before I begin to speak. I have always been one to say that the world is a loud place and is always throwing some kind of noise at you, making it difficult to focus and reflect on yourself, whether that be spiritually or or to simply assess your own wants and desires in life. For this reason we brought up the idea for a day of silence and reflection while we walked the 8 miles or so from Palas de Rei to Milede.
Didn't work. We limped and hobbled along the trail for a while in silence but we couldn't help but be in conversation with each other the entire way. Cracking jokes about "day walkers" and their drawstring bags on their backs and being scared half to death by bikers coming up behind us on hills, (maybe just me) soon became the center of conversation on this stretch of wooded trail. We talked about life, laughed about hiccup-burps, and ate food we never dreamed we would, all while talking and sharing in one another's experiences.
As a pilgrim, you walk on with your group, meet people you like, walk around and ahead of those you don't, and in the end we find that we're all walking the same path to the same place. We did not achieve our day of silence, but silence is not the culture of the Camino. Much like life, the Camino cannot be completed in solitude. It is the comraderie that helps you forget how much pain you're in and then the laughter from our fun group creates the unexplainable energy that gets you up and moving again.
The group has been my main motivation to keep going this entire time and each step gets us closer to a goal we will be relieved to achieve. Walking into Santiago de Compostela in a few days will be a great accomplishment, but it will be something we could not have done without each other.