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Vows of friendship


Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese 2019
When I was a tiny lad l swore an oath of allegiance to my friends at school. It was a very serious thing in our little lives, to swear life-long allegiance. Years later I took an oath and swore allegiance to my country and pledged to abide by its laws. And later still, in my prime, in God’s house, I vowed a lifetime of love and fidelity in the presence of family and friends. Taking a vow is serious business. Giving our word is sacrosanct. And though life’s difficulties sometimes make it hard to keep our vows and promises, it is important to do our best because our word is who we are. On the Camino I found it very easy to make promises, to make a vow of friendship, an oath of allegiance, a pledge, spoken or unspoken. Being on a pilgrimage makes you open and receptive. We want to see and experience life not only as it is but also as it should be. As we want it to be. And we do. That is what makes it so memorable and special, that crazy and meandering and ridiculously long walk. The school friends to whom I swore an oath all those years ago have all gone their own way and I no longer make promises or vows or oaths. The future is too uncertain. The only promise I make is to myself, to be true to my word. Everything else is negotiable.
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"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Pilgrims have been making Vows to walk to this or that Pilgrimage destination for well over a thousand years, and it isn't that easy to abandon such a Vow to God once it has been made.

I am under a Vow that I didn't exactly make but it was provided for me, to walk to Fatima. I haven't the faintest idea why. I made it about halfway last year, which is an OK start, and the various difficulties I've faced, plus some that we all of us have faced, do not excuse me in any degree from that Vow. But instead nearly every day I consider matters of opportunity and possibility for the Way versus unavoidable hindrance and worldly obligation.

The Vow simply remains.

Sus Eia.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
The only vows I have ever made were when I married and I have kept them and intend to continue doing so. Its a question of it being, for me, the right thing to do.
Otherwise I have intentions and ideas and challenges for myself - some may work out, some may not but anything I REALLY want to do generally gets done unless life intervenes, and then you have to recognise that its not meant to be this time, or just yet, or maybe ever. I agree, the future is open, but I look to make opportunities or seize them, always hoping for the best but being realistic and accepting that generally things work out for the best. I know myself and my failings too well to make vows these days - life is a negotiation between the willing spirit (or the spirit that knows what it ought to do) and the sometimes reluctant body.
We should have been coming to the closing days of the vdlp, but I now wonder if it wouldnt have been too hot for me, so maybe its for the best as it was not a timing of choice in the first place. I might never get to use my sunshade umbrella now but then I might also not get to look like an alien thats just landed under a silver canopy. There must surely be a clever segue to every cloud and silver linings there but it escapes me.
My intention remains but the destination may have changed. Flow around the rock.

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