By Writing Sandblasted
On the table in front of her, a pile of books. Their sizes and the colors of the covers are reminiscent of comic books, but this is not the case. Those are the notebooks that Annie Mingam has built up over time to keep track of her pilgrimages annual towards Santiago de Compostelae, northeast of Spain.
La Sabolienne has fond memories of her first experience.
I discovered the Compostela routes in 2001 thanks to the parish of Sablé-sur-Sarthe which had organized a relay pilgrimage. That year, I walked for a week in the Gers with two other people. We experienced very beautiful moments of sharing, exchanges, meditation and encounters
Alone on the roads
It was enough to create the desire to leave. Every year until 2006, as a group, Annie left. Always for one-week walks.
In 2010, she took up the backpack alone. She is joined at the end by her husband Alain and a friend. » I walked the Camino del Norte to Oviedo and three of us walked the Camino Primitivo and Fisterra, to reach the End of the World. »
Each year thereafter, Annie set off on one of these paths traced by the pilgrims since the Middle Ages. At the time, people would go to Saint-Jacques to pray at the tomb of Saint-Jacques, one of the Apostles of Christ. Today, the motivations of walkers are diverse. For Annie Mingam, kingpin of the Catholic community of Sablé, the spiritual dimension is essential.
I walk alone with my 10 kg bag on my back. It allows me to empty myself, to recharge my batteries. As I walk, I find inner peace. It is a path of humanity, of simplicity
As proof, his best memory: “It was when, one morning, when I was about to set off for the day’s stage, a monk took me in his arms and wished me a Buen Camino. »
129 steps in one go
This year, she left Rome, in Italy, on May 1. Alain accompanied her for a while and then she continued on her own as far as Saint-Jacques.
She walked 3,086 km in 129 stages and reached its goal on August 21, without a single day of rest.
Usually, I don’t calculate anything, but this time, as the whole family wanted to be present to welcome me, I had to calculate the date of arrival. »
“The mind is very important”
La Sabolienne easily recognizes this: “Walking has become a drug. I don’t think I’m particularly brave. The mind is very important, everything is in the head. In truth, I am cowardly. Here, I never walk alone. On the Paths, it’s exhilarating not knowing what a new day will bring me, or where I’ll be staying. »
The one who liked neither walking nor nature, she lived in the countryside with her parents, today swallows the miles without feeling them and continues to take the time to land in front of “a sunrise, a landscape, a flower. »
Manage the reception of pilgrims
Since 2016, with her husband, in addition to her pilgrimages, Annie has been at the service of others.
The couple leaves for the week to manage the reception of pilgrims on the French side. An opportunity to share experiences as a couple, without the constraints of differences in rhythm, because “when I am on the Way, I don’t walk, I fly. »
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Sarthe. For 20 years, Annie has traveled the paths of Compostela
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