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A good read - "The Way Is Made By Walking" by Arthur Paul Boers

John H.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
I read an interesting book called The Way Is Made By Walking, by Arthur Paul Boers. The title is a quote (“se hace camino al andar”) from Spanish poet Antonio Machado. The author draws interesting parallels between the Camino and the Christian journey through life. Whether someone is pursuing the Christian faith or not, I thought it was a good read and thought provoking.

Boers relates the quote “The Way Is Made By Walking” and the Camino pilgrimage experience to the Christian journey and to following Jesus and better knowing "Christ". Jesus said “I am the Way”. The Camino pilgrim experiences a learning and transformation process along The Way that has parallels to a follower of Jesus experiencing a process of redemption and transformation.

Here are some quotes / paraphrasing / summaries:

I once walked five hundred miles to attend church. People often say that it is more about the journey than the destination itself. While a five hundred mile pilgrimage may sound pious – and I admit to some self-righteous pride about this – it was a tremendous privilege.

I felt a deep sense of being called by God to that pilgrimage. A longing that was hard to name drove me to undertake something that I could not have imagined even a few years ago. It was very hard and incredibly good – most satisfying achievement ever.

After I returned, I could not let it go, or perhaps I could not be released by the Camino. Without plans, I began writing every day. Long after the trip was done, I kept pondering it. The pilgrimage was always on my mind. It took only a month to walk but required much longer to process.

Walking the Camino was not a trauma, although it was the most demanding thing I have ever done. The pilgrimage differs from sorrowful circumstances of loss because I chose it. While not emotionally traumatic like griefs, sorrows and tragedies, the pilgrimaged reworked me (in some ways).

I could not stop thinking about the Camino pilgrimage. Did it call me to change my way of living – to simplify my life? Pilgrimage unites belief with action, thinking with doing. It required that the body and its actions express the desires and beliefs of the soul. Pilgrimage is about integration of body, sole, feet and faith. The pilgrimage has implications for all my life, and that is why it takes me so long to keep processing it – the Camino works in me step by step.

One summer, this middle-aged man set out on the classic pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago, walking thirty one days to travel five hundred miles. I climbed mountains and wandered through valleys. I sauntered in sunshine and trudged in drenching rain. I moved through old, abandoned villages that looked like ghost towns and through big and busy bustling cities whose noise overwhelmed me after hours of rural solitude. Sometimes the path was dirt of compacted mud, sometimes paved. At times I trekked over ancient cobbled and rutted Roman roads or smooth sandy tracks. Through it all, God led me on the way to life.
 
Last edited:

Holly West

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I read an interesting book called The Way Is Made By Walking, by Arthur Paul Boers. The title is a quote (“se hace camino al andar”) from Spanish poet Antonio Machado. The author draws interesting parallels between the Camino and the Christian journey through life. Whether someone is pursuing the Christian faith or not, I thought it was a good read and thought provoking.

Boers relates the quote “The Way Is Made By Walking” and the Camino pilgrimage experience to the Christian journey and to following Jesus and better knowing "Christ". Jesus said “I am the Way”. The Camino pilgrim experiences a learning and transformation process along The Way that has parallels to a follower of Jesus experiencing a process of redemption and transformation.

Here are some quotes / paraphrasing / summaries:

I felt a deep sense of being called by God to that pilgrimage. A longing that was hard to name drove me to undertake something that I could not have imagined even a few years ago. It was very hard and incredibly good – most satisfying achievement ever.

After I returned, I could not let it go, or perhaps I could not be released by the Camino. Without plans, I began writing every day. Long after the trip was done, I kept pondering it. The pilgrimage was always on my mind. It took only a month to walk but required much longer to process.

Walking the Camino was not a trauma, although it was the most demanding thing I have ever done. The pilgrimage differs from sorrowful circumstances of loss because I chose it. While not emotionally traumatic like griefs, sorrows and tragedies, the pilgrimaged reworked me (in some ways).

I could not stop thinking about the Camino pilgrimage. Did it call me to change my way of living – to simplify my life? Pilgrimage unites belief with action, thinking with doing. It required that the body and its actions express the desires and beliefs of the soul. Pilgrimage is about integration of body, south, feet and faith. The pilgrimage has implications for all my life, and that is why it takes me so long to keep processing it – the Camino works in me step by step.

One summer, this middle-aged man set out on the classic pilgrimage route of the Camino de Santiago, walking thirty one days to travel five hundred miles. I climbed mountains and wandered through valleys. I sauntered in sunshine and trudged in drenching rain. I moved through old, abandoned villages that looked like ghost towns and through big and busy bustling cities whose noise overwhelmed me after hours of rural solitude. Sometimes the path was dirt of compacted mud, sometimes paved. At times I trekked over ancient cobbled and rutted Roman roads or smooth sandy tracks. Through it all, God led me on the way to life.
Thanks for that suggestion. I just ordered it and think it would be good for my daughter and I to have to read from while on the way in May.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
Looks like a book I want! But the idea is not new. Pablo Neruda said "Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking." Thich Nhat Hanh has a delightful little book "How to Walk", on walking meditation. One quote: "When you walk, arrive with every step."
 

Holly West

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Looks like a book I want! But the idea is not new. Pablo Neruda said "Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking." Thich Nhat Hanh has a delightful little book "How to Walk", on walking meditation. One quote: "When you walk, arrive with every step."
I ordered that one too! Thank you for the suggestion. I wanted something we could read from every morning before we start out for the day so hopefully, between these two books, we will have some good choices for something to ponder as we walk. Thanks again.
 

SCT

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto to Santiago 2014
Camino Frances 2016, 2017
Astorga to SDC 2019
I loved this book as well!
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Pablo Neruda said "Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking."

I believe that this was originally said by Antonio Machado, though I might be mistaken.

This following poem, The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost is one that resonates for me personally :

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.​
 

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