Wikipedia’s definition of a Carabiner reads; A carabiner or karabiner is a specialized type of shackle, a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly connect components to a backpack, rope, harness, etc.

Until yesterday, I had not taken true day off. I had no particular need for a day off, gratefully; no blisters, injuries, setbacks that have required several of my Camino friends to stop and rework their plan for a day.

I took the day off because I was afraid to. It’s indicative of my work style back home. The thought is “If I don’t keep going, I’ll lose steam, miss an opportunity, forget a call, lose momentum, etc.”

I booked a simple room in a town of 8,000 people and spent most of the day in silence. And as grace would have it, I didn’t know how much I needed the time away from the 25 kilometer days.

I wrote, sang, gave thanks, meandered the town square, and get this; I sat down and drank a cup of coffee and watched people walk by. Crazy right?

The sad and silly part of that cup of coffee is that before I ordered the cafe con leche, I actually looked at a clock on the wall to make sure I could afford the time it takes to sit and sip. As if I had somewhere to be??? Now that is crazy.

I have conditioned my response to leisure (which for me means rest, calm, satisfaction, peace, joy, a simple pleasure, an oasis) to give it the proper and most significantly minimal time in my day, my mind, my heart, my soul, my being.

When I woke this morning I longed for more silence and stillness. I reached over to a small table with all my gear and accidentally pushed a carabiner off the edge and it dropped loudly onto the floor.

And it hit me. I’ve carabinered several items to my backpack. A wide brimmed hat for the sunny afternoons. A two liter water bag. A windbreaker for colder weather.

Why not Silence and Stillness?

At this time of year, the Camino is sparsely populated, unlike the summer months where pilgrims are everywhere…in front, behind, and beside you. So, getting quiet time is not difficult, it just takes mindfulness.

So today, I’m attaching a carabiner that will appear to the laymen’s eye to not have anything locked into it’s spring-loaded metal loop. But you and I will know different. Silence and Stillness are on board.

And I vow to sit with a cafe con leche along the trail, watch people go by, and not look at the clock.

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  • Robert November 8, 2016, 6:01 pm

    I read this entry, and thought back to several years ago when I went on a study abroad trip with my daughter Hannah. We spent 8 days on a Pacific island that had no electricity. The sun became our clock/watch. It was a very powerful lesson to learn about time. We all have 24 hours in a day. How we prioritize and spend it is how we all differ.

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