We can only do something for the first time, once!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to the annual Gathering of the American Pilgrims of the Camino in Black Mountain, NC. Interestingly I accompanied, Steve, who I only met after following his blog, during his 2016 Camino, which was responsible for my 2017 Pilgrimage. We are now best of friends.

This was only my second Gathering but I have to note that the YMCA facility hosting this years event, is a huge step up. The location, in the mountains, just outside Asheville is stunning. It was fun to see friends from two years ago and a few from my Camino.

It was interesting to notice a few contrasts between my 1st and the 2nd. I can clearly remember walking into the 2017 Gathering in Atlanta very nervous as I did not know one person, plus this Camino business was a huge departure for me. I had so many questions about food, equipment, blisters….. My main concern was how to survive walking 1000 kilometers without getting hurt or lost.

The most notable change, for me, was a new depth of conversations. Clearly people are changed by Pilgrimage.

My recurring thought was about firsts. Notably that – you can only do something for the first time once. What will my second Camino be like? Will I be able to find the energy and motivation to accomplish all that is necessary to make it a reality?

Many of the presentations made me nostalgic to return. I know I can never go back to that first experience. I will never regain my virginity.

Perhaps my most important lesson from the weekend was the reminder to “say yes to the Universe” and trust that if I find myself led to another Camino, it too will present new joys, pains, people, and lasting memories. It will become my 1st 2nd Camino.

Stay tuned…

Buen Camino 👣

One thought on “We can only do something for the first time, once!

  1. Congratulations on connecting with your Camino family again. You are all certainly bonded for eternity and it shows in your update to us. Life-changing, positive, inspirational come to my mind. I envy the special close relationships you have made. I admire how you learned to prepare for your first Pilgrimage and stuck with your goals. What an accomplishment! Thanks for sharing it all with us. Your conclusion from it sounds like something Dr. Suess would name one of his books. I hope you write yours. Its a winner already, Bill! Hugs, Dee


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