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Stones from home, stones from the heart....

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Well today I collected my last stone. I know it's tradition to carry a stone from home but I have desired to be a little different. I am going to carry a small stone from the graves of my family and friends that have passed away. 10 small stones, 10 little spirits to look after me when I start in September....
 
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Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Thank you Anna
 

Michael Caleigh

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo September 2016
What a beautiful idea. I walk the walk for myself and for the loved ones I lost and in memory of my ex partner who died of cancer. I won´t be carrying a stone but light a candle for all my loved ones in every church on my camino and for the ones that are left alone and who lost someone.
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
So sorry to hear that Michael, and yes that's a lovely idea too to light a candle in each church... Beautiful....
 
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Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Thank you Maggie xx
 

gigibarry

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP - Santo Domingo 2012, Santo Domingo- Astorga, Astorga - SdC, 2013, Caminho Portugues 2016?
Lee and Michael, thank you both for sharing your lovely expressions of your intentions for the Camino. We all have reasons that we walk, whether we share them with others or not. Sometimes the reasons find us on the way. But regardless I think we all have these "little spirits" as you put it, Lee, encouraging us on our journeys. I've lit candles in acknowledgement of them as well and wore a reminder of them in the form of an antique women's pocket watch given to me years ago by my grandmother on a chain around my neck.

Buen camino and I hope that you feel them with you each day of your walk.
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Thank you, I just think this is a wonderful place to share things and make new friends. It's my first Camino and I don't strt till September and yet I have so many friends here already....
 

marbuck

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
We are very much candle lighting people. It helps the church with the sale of candles and it lessens the pile of stones at the Iron Cross that the local council has to remove on a regular basis.
 
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Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Yes I understand that, and yes the amount of people leaving stones must run into the thousands. But I also bet that town makes many thousands of people on the Camino.
 

Older Guy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis -May 2016 by bike---Loved it
Well today I collected my last stone. I know it's tradition to carry a stone from home but I have desired to be a little different. I am going to carry a small stone from the graves of my family and friends that have passed away. 10 small stones, 10 little spirits to look after me when I start in September....

First, my plan is to take three very small pebbles. One I picked up in Las Vegas, one I got from work, and one from the stream in my back yard as symbols of temptations of the flesh and greed, temptations and ethics of work, and things I should have done differently at home. My leaving them will be a symbol of my wanting to change myself and seek forgiveness.

I wasn't aware that the locals removed stones from the Iron Cross. I will also light candles that I purchase at churches.

As to the stone from a grave, I find that interesting. The only stones on graves I have seen in the US are at Jewish cemeteries. The graves of all my relatives are all surrounded by thick grass up to the headstone. If you have stones from dead relative's graves, that could be a very moving and symbolic experience.

Have a great Camino.
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Thank you, yes the stones on the graves are very small, more like large graval. and yes I never thought about so many stnes being removed so maybe I will lay a stone at the places I most need help...


Lee
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
We are very much candle lighting people. It helps the church with the sale of candles and it lessens the pile of stones at the Iron Cross that the local council has to remove on a regular basis.
Absolutely agree. Please, instead of causing extra work for the locals to remove your stones, because they do, by the truck load, please light a candle and make a donation at a local church in memory of your loved ones. It is not right for the Spaniards to have to deal with the stuff you leave behind. Instead lend a hand.
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Really the stones I have brining are so small, just bigger than peas. And I really can't see these stones being a problem along the way. I also have some seeds of wild flower to drop along the way.... So maybe a small pea stone, a pray and some seeds in my times of need...
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Really the stones I have brining are so small, just bigger than peas. And I really can't see these stones being a problem along the way. I also have some seeds of wild flower to drop along the way.... So maybe a small pea stone, a pray and some seeds in my times of need...
275 000 bringing pea sized stones... And the Spanish authorities, the European authorities will not allow you on their territory withflower seeds. These are prohibited, as they are from being brought back into the US, alomg with meat, etc. as they can cause massive agricultural issues.
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
That is odd as I was sent the seeds from a camino site... Well we lie and learn don't we... And I'm sure France and Spain make lots of money off all us brining peas to the camino. The cost of a digger is so small for a day compared to the money they will make off people walking the camino...
 

marbuck

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
That is odd as I was sent the seeds from a camino site... Well we lie and learn don't we... And I'm sure France and Spain make lots of money off all us brining peas to the camino. The cost of a digger is so small for a day compared to the money they will make off people walking the camino...

Walking the Camino is not 'All about Me'
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
That is odd as I was sent the seeds from a camino site... Well we lie and learn don't we... And I'm sure France and Spain make lots of money off all us brining peas to the camino. The cost of a digger is so small for a day compared to the money they will make off people walking the camino...
At 8€ Or so for a bed and another 15€ or so per day for food, they are not making much money off our backs. Surely if they really wear making money charging proper tourist prices the vast majority of people on those routes would not be there as they could not afford it. And let's not forget all the donativo,albergues which people seem to think are free...
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Can't we tread lightly here? Different things mean different things to different people at different times.
"I know it's a tradition" as a license to burden our host country may be the issue here, especially when showing disregard for its laws amd econony, which we all know is struggling. Surely something the Camino teaches is that it is not about things but intention.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
"I know it's a tradition" as a license to burden our host country may be the issue here, especially when showing disregard for its laws amd econony, which we all know is struggling. Surely something the Camino teaches is that it is not about things but intention.
Yes, I hear what you're saying, but I don't think that's the point....at this time. But I'll just leave it here.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
To those who are so strongly against the leaving of stones at the Cruz de Ferro, can I please ask you to consider the emotional gravity of what this act means for so many pilgrims, it seems mean spirited to decry such acts and if the cost of removing the stones is, in fact burdensome to the local people, then perhaps I/we can start a fund to pay towards that cost. I would hazard a guess though that the locals understand and appreciate the significance of leaving stones at the site. Recent threads such as that started by missing mike@ are testament to the importance of this ritual, especially for the bereaved, such threads are also fine examples of expressions of empathy and careful reflection regarding human sorrow. Let's have a little more compassion and a little less judgement here people. The Camino is still a pilgrimage for many, and pilgrimages always come with and/or spawn their own rituals through time.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
I read this thread yesterday and it's been on my mind for 24 hours... actually it troubled me a little, because I really felt Lee's sadness.

Anyway, without wishing to cause any upset or dispute or discord... I was really just wondering if there were any official guidelines? I don't recall seeing any notices when I left my little stone. I can totally understand that we bring a lot of stones with us... Ivar, perhaps you could point us in the direction of some offical guidelines? Are pilgrims being asked not to bring a stone?

I think Lee's case is a perfect example of how important the landmark has become on peoples journeys... and how deeply personal the reasons are for people bringing and leaving their stone.

Rather than have a situation where some folks could be hurt or upset or confused... would it be an idea to seek the official guidance 'direct from the horses mouth'... so to speak? This could be part of the camino resources and available to all who walk? Maybe even just a little page of 'good practice' and 'local information for pilgrims' would help avoid any discord or sadness?

Just thinking out loud really :oops:
 
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MichaelSG

Retired member
Year of past OR future Camino
Not enough
I also wonder what the authorities say but while waiting, I'll think out loud too. I figure about 80,000 pilgrims last year walked past the Cruz de Ferro. That is the number of people walking the French route and starting before the monument. Assume every one of them carries a stone or several pebbles that fit into the palm of their hand. That would be about 3 cubic inches in size (50 cubic cm). That makes a grand total of 4 cubic meters (140 cubic feet) of stones. Per year. I think my son's pickup truck could handle that, although he'd probably have to make two trips. I'll save Spain "the fortune" they spend clearing the mountain each year and get my son to donate the use of his truck. He could even handle the stones left behind by the Spanish pilgrims even if they weren't imported.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
If you stay at the private albergue in Foncebadon, Convento de Foncebadon, there are photos on the wall, or at least they were there in 2012, showing a JCB (backhoe) removing the cross and then removing the stones and then replacing the cross. This is done every few years according to the owner there as he was involved in the work. It did not seem to be a problem for them. My point being if you want to bring a stone or several stones do so, its a tradition I believe, if you don't then don't.
It seems a bit silly getting into conflict about how many stones to bring, what size and should we even bring them at all IMO.
The locals don't have a problem with it so why should we make one.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Let's then apply the reasoning to toillet paper left on the trail. Surely it's my Camino, it will create jobs with towns sending workers to clean (actually, volunteers do that, and that is the argument beeing made here ins't it: we make Spain rich, let them clean up after me). Plus, if I am using TP it's out of a physical need and not an emotional one which could be tended to in many different other ways: lighting a candle, or leaving good tips at bars and restaurants and leaving good donativos instead of left over change, folding up your blanket at the albergue instead of dumping it on the floor, cleaning up the kitchen after you have finished cooking and eating... Leave something positive that contributes helps those work and volunteer on the Camino, something that contributes to the community. Surely loved ones would smile at the the thought of those acts of kindness and respect.

I wonder how atached people would be to the Cruz if the tradition was to leave a 10€ donation or having to volunteer for an hour at the Focebadon albergues.

Ok, I'm done.
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
I am sure may people along the way make a living from people walking and if it wasn't for the people walking they would make no money. But as for littering, anyone with any respect will carry there rubbish away and clean up after themselves.... Please, I didn't want this thread to go this way... I was just saying what I want to do and will do...
 
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marbuck

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Condom to Pamplona April 2016.
Le Puy to Condom France - April-May 2015.
Roncesvalles to Santiago April - May 2014
Finisterre to Muxia May 2014
I wonder how atached people would be to the Cruz if the tradition was to leave a 10€ donation or having to volunteer for an hour at the Focebadon albergues.
So very true Anemone, one day I would like to meet you. You are a true pilgrim. You care about the Camino Frances and are not afraid to speak your mind, keep up the good work.
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Thank you, maybe one day on the way we will meet and have a couple of glasses of red lol
 

Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Thank you mate.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Please bring your stones, they are not a problem as others in this thread have already pointed out. The real problem at the Cruz de Ferro are all the other things pilgrims leave there. Things that really are a problem for the environment or simply inappropriate (like the underwear I saw there in 2014).

Buen Camino, SY
 
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Lee Woodhouse

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 6th 2016 I get to saint Jean, I plan on staying here 2 nights as I don't get there till late on the 6th so will set off on September 8th So if anyone is in Saint Jean at this time and wants a little wine... Give me a shout!!! ;)
Thank you, yes I bet too... Underwear, that's not good at all...
 

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