The Camino through song: Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

When I walked in silence for hours at a time, songs come came up that I haven’t thought about in years as unbidden messengers from the Divine. When songs showed up, 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?

As someone who’s spent most of her life searching for answers, it’s not surprising that this one showed up. But it has such a lonesome, unfulfilled quality to it, it gave me pause.

Why I think Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For was in my head

On the surface, it might mean that I was thinking about Santiago — and that I hadn’t yet found what I was looking for.

One of the things I developed on the Camino was the ability to be with this moment. The moment in which I was longing to be THERE already and yet feeling totally fine with being exactly where I was. It was a revelation for me as someone who stresses out about a lot of things I can’t change.

I think this song is about that. It’s about being okay with where you are, even if you’re looking for more.

I’ve climbed the highest mountain — it was precisely 1330 meters (4400 feet) high — a scenic peak just past O’Cebreiro. Two more were higher on the route, but I didn’t climb them. If it hadn’t been snowing on Day 1, I would have climbed higher into Roncesvalles. Or if I hadn’t had an ear infection and a fever, I would have climbed the official highest mountain at Cruz de Ferro. But I didn’t. I climbed my own highest mountain.

I didn’t scale city walls like in the song, but many old Spanish towns still retain their old fortress-walls. Almost all pilgrim accommodations are within them and retain a middle-ages feel to them. It’s a profound experience to walk through a stone archway, walls more than 10 feet thick, and enter the old cities, knowing that pilgrims have crossed this threshold for over a thousand years.

And I did run through a field. I only ran once on the Camino. I had been walking with a lovely couple and my friend Muriel. We discovered that the way was poorly marked and the couple had gone on ahead — in the wrong direction and off the path. I was genuinely concerned for them. So I dropped my pack and ran. I’ve often joked that I’d only run if something were chasing me, so this was a minor miracle. The field sped by me, lined with fluttering leaves of aspen and spring wildflowers. The problem wasn’t the running, but that the wind was blowing toward me. My efforts to shout to my friends failed because the sound was blowing backwards. I ran for a half-mile before I flagged them down. They were so grateful. I was proud of my feat.

But I still hadn’t found what I was looking for.

And it wasn’t Santiago. It was peace. It was self-acceptance. And the “you” in the song? It was me, my essential, wild, beautiful self. It was Spirit both within me and which is so much bigger than me. The place where all the colors bleed into one in beauty.

By the time I reached the Atlantic, I had found her. But that’s another song and another story.

Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

I have climbed highest mountain
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you

I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…

I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well yes I’m still running

You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…

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