Camino de Santiago de Compostela
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The big lesson was that I actually didn't need very much to feel secure and happy - a bed when I was tired, food when I was hungry, time alone to think and pray and fellowship with other people when I needed these things too. I have to say learning that I could live happily with few material things gave me huge confidence and hope for the future.
Has the experience changed the way I live? Yes, in many ways...but not totally. That's why I'm still walking perhaps!
mspath wrote:My Caminos have totally exceeded any prior expectations!
Fulfilling a dream held since university days, at 65 in 2004 I first set out on the Camino Frances worried about physical strength and endurance. I, too, expected to experience what so many had done across time and to see what had been built along the way while pondering the myths and ghosts of history. As most pilgrims do I discovered this endeavor to be hardly a walk in the park, but a unique mix of contemporary mundane chance and historic legend. When exhausted for courage I would remember one of the timeless adages associated with the Camino, "if a pilgrim makes it to the city of Burgos, he can make it to Santiago!" With time walking on an empty path while hearing only the distinctive crunch of my boots became a true pleasure.
Kindnesses of strangers along the way offering smiles, water, conversation, help and hospitality were a constant support. After walking two months when I first arrived at Santiago de Compostela in 2004 seeing at last the great cathedral, touching the hallowed stones, and weeping with joy as the great bells tolled were special thrills. Overwhelmed with emotion I silently gave thanks for all that had passed. Later when sorting memories and souvenirs, I slowly began to realize that my mind and heart had been deeply changed by this journey. Thus, I decided to try to return.
And so I have, six times.
Each Camino has begun with both anticipation and trepidation. As always I wonder how it all will go. My reasons include non-traditional spiritual ones giving thanks for each day lived and for my life which enables such a journey. Walking alone day after day I ponder varied aspects of the thousand-year history of this beloved route as well as recall several quotations which help define my personal creed. "But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity..." "I will walk in liberty for I seek thy precepts." Psalm 26:11 and 119:45 "No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." Buddha
For those who ask why another Camino?
One answer is "le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas/ the heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing." Pascal, Les Pensées
For those who ask why I do this at my age? My answer is why not?
"what then? shall we sit idly down and say the night has come; it is no longer day? The night hath not yet come;...For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day." Longfellow, Morituri Salutamus
Now walking the Camino and sharing the experience by participating in this amazing Forum have become essential elements of my life. Thus thankful, respectful and humble, but curious and with an ever eager heart, at 73 I hope to return once more later this year. Long may I be able to do so, but as age and time eventually take their toll hopefully my personal memories will endure. Physically I may not be there, but sentimentally I will always wear my shell. ...
tyrrek wrote:Utterly failed. I'm shocked by this whole Camino thing, to be honest. You keep having to go back, trying out different routes etc. I think it's a bit of a scam.
1) You rarely meet the same people each time you return which forces you to interact with different, interesting people from all over the world. How inconvenient is that?!
2) You can go back to the same place at a different time of day or year and it looks and feels completely different from the previous time, believe it or not! In spring it might be green and lush with wheat blowing in the wind, while in autumn it's all been harvested and the fields are a kind of golden colour. Don't these people understand about standardisation?!
3) I won't even try to give a third failing. There are so many. People who don't speak English (in Spain, for goodness sake!) Then you have local food and wine...
I won't be going back again for at least a couple of months, I can tell you! It's utterly ridiculous.
katiawt wrote:Haha... see you there
i´ve donne half the french camino once(had some expectation issues in this one) and so far nine times the portuguese camino, from Porto and Lisabon, to Santiago, to Fisterre and to Muxia...
tyrrek wrote:Utterly failed. I'm shocked by this whole Camino thing, to be honest. You keep having to go back, trying out different routes etc. I think it's a bit of a scam.[...] I won't be going back again for at least a couple of months, I can tell you! It's utterly ridiculous.
evanlow wrote:I have walked it four times (different route each time) so I guess I do not need to answer on the expectations. Instead, this is what I expect of the Camino after the first experience, and every time since, it has delivered.
1. A simple life
Just walk, eat/drink, sleep, wash (body and clothes). These four activities will keep busy enough during the journey. And loosing track of the day of week after a week or so walking is the testament to that.
2. No responsibility
At least during the period that you walk. Also eat and drink to your heart's contend without fear as it will burn away the following day.
3. Just live
Experience the nature, the difference places every day. Keeping the life so simple, any bad experience will always have a reverse as reward..
A harder day's walk will make that shower even more heavenly.
Some one disturbs you with their light sabre at 4:30 am, just wake up and walk earlier. You may see and experience things you would not had you walked later.
A bad day of rain and fog might just cleared up even for 10 seconds to reveal a scenery so beautiful, you would think it is photoshop.. speaking from experience)
4. Letting go
All this can only happen by letting go and just live this life for the duration of the Camino. This may not be so easy for those walking the road because of grief.
The Camino does not give you answers. It may facilitate your quest for whatever you are seeking, and if it does, I envy you.
Someone once said, if it happens once it is an incident, twice a coincidence, three times and it's a habit, four or more a lifestyle.
For me, it is now a lifestyle rather than a quest or expectations of sorts.
falcon269 wrote::D Isn't 74 a bit warm for the exertion of walking?
HDrider wrote:Brilliant jeffnd, I hope your Camino is just as you hope. I'm sat here chuckling away.
My big fear is that this great longing in my heart, this urgent call, this gaping, bleeding NEED to go will deflate like a loose balloon complete with the raspberry sound effects!
chas999 wrote:... SJDPP in the evening of April 19th 2012 and having had a delightful supper at L'Esprit du Chemin [..].I went to the Pilgrim's office to register and to get advice regarding the weather for the following morning. The pilgrims office informed me NOT to go over the Route Napoleon due to expected bad weather. [...] Go for it, heed the advice and Buen Camino!
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