(Originally posted on 24 August 2016)
I woke up this morning to an email from my mother -
“The central part of Italy has been hit by a 6.4 earthquake. All our relatives are safe. I will update you soon. Good luck, Mom.”
A tremendous earthquake shattered my country overnight, and as of now, 120 people are dead. Three towns are destroyed. My family has to re-live the trauma of April 2009, when the L’Aquila earthquake severely impacted us.
All the pilgrims have to be lucky. Really. Because to complete a path of 800 kilometres does not only require the courage to walk and the willingness to finish something that you started. It also takes luck, wishing that you won’t have significant injuries, that you won’t be attacked by animals or robbed, or that your family or work won’t need your immediate presence because of an unexpected event.
Sure, you may adopt a Taoist perspective and think that everything that happens in our life is a matter of personal choice. As such, all those who did not finish the path had not really intended to finish it, because otherwise the Universe would have offered them help. But the Camino ain’t a path of perspectives. It is a path of reflections, about humility, and gratitude.
For me, I am grateful that I did it once. I am grateful that I am still walking. And I will say a prayer for everyone affected by the earthquake. It is the least a pilgrim could do.