My goal was fixed: I would walk to Compostela ─no matter what. And with my goal fixed, without self-doubt and the minute-by-minute attention to frustrations and disappointments, I discovered something. Underneath the surface actions, events, and partying of the path was silence. Even when it was noisy, that silence was underneath activity. That quiet was solid and always accessible. I could depend on it; I could return to it at any time, in any emergency. It was the quiet of pilgrimage, and it was worth the meseta.*
. . . .
Except for us, the cathedral was empty. The monk took us through another side door into the dark cloister. A charcoal brazier was on the stones, and the monk gestured for us to sit down around it. Then he handed out black cards and told us they would symbolize the sins we wanted to get rid of. Is worry a sin? I asked myself. I sure would like to get rid of it. I decided that it was. Worry about the future seemed uncharitable somehow, toward God, after everything I'd experienced on the pilgrimage─so many days I'd worried would be bad had turned out so well! And so many days when my good anticipations had turned out so bad! I didn't know whether worry was a sin, but I threw it in the brazier.
*high plateau in Northern Spain
-from God's Hotel, p332-333