I was one mile into a hike the other day when it started to rain. I swung my pack onto a picnic bench and reached into the bottom for the rain cover, when I realized that I’d left the rain cover in my apartment. Draped over a drying rack from my rainy hike the day before.
This illustrates two things: it’s raining. A lot. And I’m forgetting stuff.
I’m normally not a forgetful person, so when I start to leave things behind, I know that I have too much going on in my head.
And I do. I have 10 days before I leave for Europe and I feel completely and totally unprepared. I know that’s not true: some things are taken care of, like my flight and my train ticket and where I’m going to stay for my first two nights. And I have most of my things. I still need to find a long sleeved shirt, and I need to get to REI to pick up another fleece that I ordered (yes, I second-guessed the white one. If I had loved it-regardless of the color- I think I would have kept it. But the fit wasn’t great). Otherwise, I think I have everything I need.
I told myself, months ago, that all I really needed was a way to get over to St Jean Pied de Port (my starting point for the Camino), and a good pack and good shoes and a few extras. After that, the rest would take care of itself.
But I also know that I like to be prepared. And the closer this Camino gets, the more nervous I feel.
And what’s with all this rain? The one thing I had been doing really well was training for this walk, but in the last few weeks? Other than a great 8-mile hike with a loaded pack and some good friends, I haven’t done much. My days are too busy for long hikes, and when I do have a little more time, I strap on my pack and as if on cue, the skies open up and dump water on me. I’ve done a few smaller hikes in the rain- to test out my jacket and the pack cover- because at some point in my 35 days of walking this summer, I’m sure I’ll have to walk in the rain. But yesterday, as I set off on a hike and began to get rained on for the third time this week, I gave up and turned around.
All of this being said, I can’t wait for this time next week. Work will be over for the school year, I will be leaving for France in three days, and inevitably, I will have more items checked off my to-do list. And I suspect that the little kernel of Camino excitement that is currently buried somewhere in me is going to be making more of an appearance.
And today? Today the skies are blue and the sun is shining strongly. In a few minutes I’m going to go outside, stretch my legs, and soak up some of this little-seen, late spring sun.