They say that the pilgrimage begins from your home. We have been getting ready for so long. This Sunday it begins. There have been many gifts and blessings as we depart. This photo shows 2 scallop shells given to us by Barbara and Wayne Stevens who walked the Camino de Frances just this past spring and gave us insight and experienced advice along with these Celtic symbols of the Camino. The other scallop shell I pulled from the Atlantic off the coast of Maine while visiting our friends, Lisa & Marcea Spiegel and Kim Boehm. I plan to leave this on the other side of the Atlantic. The beautiful blue cross is a gift from Lawrie Okurowski who instructed me to discern where to leave it or who to give it to. A compelling and thoughtful challenge. My sister Susan sent us two scarfs for the journey, and the TriCon men’s Anchor Group helped us gear up. I feel the joyous and full support of family, friends, and church as we begin. In a sense you will all travel with us in our thoughts and prayers along the way.
Updates as they happen…
It started a few years ago as one of those daydream discussions with Natalie who said, “Hey you know what would be fun? To walk this ancient pilgrimage in Spain called El Camino de Santiago.” It means the Way of St. James or St. James’s Path. We looked into it more and discovered that El Camino de Santiago is the name of any of many routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia located in northwestern Spain. The tradition holds that the remains of the saint are buried on this site. For over a thousand years the pilgrimage has been used as a spiritual practice or extended retreat for spiritual growth.
We’re taking the northern route
Well as we nurtured this crazy idea we came to realize that:
- We do enjoy walking. seeing new places, and meeting people from other cultures.
- Natalie does speak fluent Spanish and loves travel.
- I love the idea of pilgrimage – an intentional spiritual quest that involves unplugging from the grid and day to day routine, simplifying life to essentials, and devoting an extended time to processing where God has led me and is leading me today.
- And finally, the clincher… for every 5 years of service, my most excellent church, Trinitarian Congregational Church in Concord, Massachusetts, USA (TriConChurch.org) offers a three month sabbatical.
So what started as a daydream has actually become possible. Beginning on August 31st Natalie and I will start this great adventure. We plan to walk the northern route , Camino del Norte about 500 miles in about 5 or 6 weeks.
http://Camino Santiago del Norte – The North Way in a larger map
Even though I will be mostly unplugged, I will be posting photographs and thoughts along the way as I can. You can follow along with Natalie and me if you like by subscribing to this blog.
Thanks for following.
Bob En Camino