Being in nature for a long time (relatively) sharpens your senses. It happened to me on the Camino. After a couple of weeks, I smelled better (not only the stinking pilgrims like myself 🙂 ), certainly the vast amount of flowers along the road, the beautiful eucalyptus trees, etc.
My taste changed as well! I tasted more variety in the wines (great Rioja!), the food (even simple bread) and the meals I had.
I felt like I heard better too. At night I could hear the snorers make a lot of noise 🙂 Anyway, I had earplugs and did not hear them until I took them out again… but I could hear the birds (and other animals) sing, approaching cars from far away, …
I also met a Korean woman Sun Ay (like sunday without the ‘d’), who lost her glasses somewhere along the Camino. She probably left it at an albergue, but I am not sure anymore. So, I met her in Pomferrada, where she stood next to me at one of the traffic lights. She asked me kindly if she could join me on my trip that particular day. She explained to me that she had lost her glasses and only could see like 1 m away. So, it’s impossible for her to see the markings of the Camino (yellow arrows or shells)! Only by walking together she could make it to the next town or wherever she wanted to stay.
We took a nice scenic route, but unfortunately, she could not see it very well! It took me some time to get that… Imagine the beautiful nature sceneries I am enjoying, and telling her about it, but she did not see at all! Of course, we laughed a lot and had a great time together, discovering our cultural differences, food preferences and discussing our music/movie top 20.
Why couldn’t she get another pair of glasses? Well, first of all, only big towns and cities have opticians/optical stores. Apparently it takes at least 1 extra day to get the glasses ready and she had planned the rest of the trip completely. Even afterwards, her tickets for Barcelona, Paries, etc. were already booked. So, she couldn’t afford ‘loosing’ a day, otherwhise she would have to take the bus (not done by true hikers!), obviously no option either. On top of that, it might be a great lesson for her to go on without seeing clearly where she was going…like many of us are doing in real life!
Almost a week later, I met her again and I could not believe my eyes… she could see for almost 3 meters by now (her eyes adapted?), still not enough to walk alone, but she could at least recognize the faces of people she met, find the toilets, get out of a building, etc.
Imagine how your life would look like, if you could only see 1 meter away? All the rest is just blurry… Wow, what an impact that would have on your life, right? Something to think about…
Sometimes we appreciate things the most, only when they are gone! I can truly say that I am very thankful that all my senses are working properly!
Enjoy every day,