People tear up and down the Camino Dulcinea, lost in the business and busyness of weddings. The planning seems never to end. They go up the hill fussing with the bride’s hair and down the hill talking to caterers on the phone. That is all most people know of the ancient Camino. A mad rush up and back, the details lost in an explosion of wedding moments.
Now pilgrim, if that is all you could receive from Dulcinea, do not grieve. She gives to us what blessings we can receive on any given day. Go your way rejoicing, but I must tell you I’ve found a different way to walk the Camino.
And I learned it from a fox.
Many nights, typically between the hours of ten and two, Foxy Brown will pop out of the valley and make her way up or down the Camino, weaving back and forth between the ground lights that illumine the path. She feeds on the swarms of bugs and insects that gather at these lights.
Often I’m out at those same hours and will follow her. The agreement we’ve worked out is simple. I make no sudden moves and do not get closer than about fifteen feet. That seems to be working for us. As an added bonus, I’m forced to adopt Foxy Brown’s pace and attitude toward the Camino. And that is changing me.
Foxy Brown doesn’t walk; she glides. The first time I saw her I thought she was a cat. I’d never seen a canine move with that kind of liquid grace. And she is in no hurry. It only takes two minutes to walk from Meadow Lane to the chapel. With Foxy Brown it takes ten minutes.
Take a few steps. Eat a bug. Slide over to another light. Big yawn and stretch. Spend a couple of minutes snapping at moths. Sniff the air. Glance at that human I see around here sometimes. He still seems harmless. Hey, is that a frog?
Reader, how could I have made it through six decades of life and only now understand how much more you can see if you just slow down? At Foxy Brown’s pace, trees become fair ladies turning slowly to show off their dresses. Moon becomes a godess and winks at you from behind juniper boughs. Every plant is a unique creation that fought for its right to exist. Every stone carries a billion years of history no one will ever know.
How could I have walked past these things and never seen them?
Why am I always in a hurry?
I arrived in La Mancha in a hurry. Wounded, I was in a hurry for healing. Lonely, I was in a hurry to make friends. Employed again as a writer, I was in a hurry for words to come.
Always I have been in a hurry. Always.
How do I become the sort of person who can learn this lesson?