- Camino(s) past & future
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.