The Camino through song: Every Day is a Winding Road

I can’t say that I’m a huge Sheryl Crow fan. In fact, I only tolerated singing All I Wanna Do (Is Have Some Fun) when I was in an a capella group in college. But Every Day is a Winding Road just wouldn’t leave me alone. Even now that I’ve seen the video, I still couldn’t sing you an entire verse of this song. Just the chorus:

Every day is a winding road I get a little bit closer / Every day is a faded siiiign I get a little bit closer…

That’s what I heard in my mind, over and over.

Why I think Every Day is a Winding Road was in my head

Two reasons: the road and the faded signs

The road unfolded before me at three miles per hour. Whether I was excited, tired, bored, or worried. Unless it was treacherous or muddy, things went no slower or faster than three miles per hour for an entire seven weeks.

Every day was a literal winding road on a predetermined path that I waited to unfold before me as I walked my pace. Every day, I got a little bit closer to Santiago, to my destination.

I think that’s how the Camino taught me patience and brought me peacefulness. I stopped worrying about getting “there” and started focusing on being here, where I actually am. It was quite a revelation.

As for the faded signs, there were many.

As you may know, the entire Camino is waymarked with yellow spray-painted arrows along the French route all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.


The Spanish government also puts up signs that point the way and some of them get major abuse. In the cities, they embed brass scallop shells in the pavement which makes for an interesting exercise in connecting the tiny dots.

In any event, the way isn’t always clear. The signs are often faded. Which, come to think of it, is a lot like life. Sometimes you only get a hint about which direction is the correct one. Sometimes time has worn away the yellow paint on the old stone fence and you have to pull back the ivy and make your best guess.

I can only remember one arrow on the way to Finisterra which made the direction glaringly obvious. It was pointing to a narrow, dark, and wet alleyway that no one in their right mind would enter without 100% certainty that it was, indeed, The Path. This special arrow was hazard-yellow, 5 feet long, and 3 feet wide. Meg and I cracked up laughing, it was so ridiculously huge.

Life hardly ever gives you signs that obvious. The rest of the time, we just pick out our way, take it one step at a time, and hope our intuition is correct.

With every guess, though, we get a little bit closer to knowing. We get a little closer to our destination. For me it was Santiago and then the Atlantic. In life, it’s death. So it’s especially helpful to have had 7 weeks of practice choosing my direction and getting closer to where I want to go.

And on that happy note, take it away, Sheryl.

(Incidentally, the tempo of this song is exactly my pace — 3 miles an hour.)

Every Day Is A Winding Road

I hitched a ride with a vending machine repair man
He says he’s been down this road more than twice
He was high on intellectualism
I’ve never been there but the brochure looks nice
Jump in, let’s go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low,
These are the days when anything goes

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine

He’s got a daughter he calls Easter
She was born on a Tuesday night
I’m just wondering why I feel so all alone
Why I’m a stranger in my own life
Jump in, let’s go
Lay back, enjoy the show
Everybody gets high, everybody gets low
These are the days when anything goes

Every day is a winding road…

I’ve been swimming in a sea of anarchy
I’ve been living on coffee and nicotine
I’ve been wondering if all the things I’ve seen
Were ever real, were ever really happening

Every day is a winding road…

5 thoughts on “The Camino through song: Every Day is a Winding Road

  1. Jen – were all these songs traveling through your head on their own, or did you have a music player with you? if you didn’t have a music player, did you scarf down lots of songs for your journey ahead of time? I just mean did you listen to songs to store them up…?

  2. Beautiful. I can just see that winding road. I can’t believe that we did it. We kept up with the winding road and accomplished our dream. Mostly I see sunshine on the road too. The irritations were small. Loved being with you the few times we traveled together.

  3. That’s an awesome question!

    I didn’t bring a music player. I didn’t cram songs before I left, either. I just walked in silence for hours at a time — and songs came to me while I walked. Songs came up that I haven’t thought about in years, songs I’ve sung in performance, song I hate — they all came to me unbidden like messengers from the Divine.

    When songs showed up, I sang them in their entirety — or as much as I could remember (like this one, I only had 2 lines repeating over and over since I didn’t know any of the words). Then I pondered their significance in the way you would a dream. Why is this song showing up? What is happening in my life that reflects the message? What does this song want to tell me?

    If you’ve never tried that as a practice, I highly recommend it.

    So that’s the story about my Camino songs. I have about 30 of them and I even made an old fashioned “mix tape” of them on CD. When I hear each one, I can tell you exactly where I was when the song came to me, what the weather was like, and who I was with. And for a girl with ADD, that’s pretty darned impressive. 🙂

  4. Jen,
    I can relate to the whole experience being too expansive and deep to recount. I love that music is the hinge for a while, and your memories and stories unravel around the songs. Music stuck in your head –isn’t the subconscious and/or Divine wonderful?! (But now I have the Sheryl Crow song stuck in my head too! :-p )

    Thank for sharing.

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