Blog

Twenty-second Gift of the Camino: Coming Home

Today is my last full day in Santiago. I arrived last Thursday, a couple days earlier than expected. I used the time for a few things. To decompress from the wonderfully difficult daily routine. Up at 6:30 am, out by 7:30 am, walking until about 4:00 pm, finding a place to stay, a meal, and [...]

Read More

Twenty-first Gift of the Camino: Staying In Time

I had a glorious, albeit wet and cold, walk from Samos to Barbadela. Samos is the home of a gigantic and mystical Benedictine Monastery. Barbadela is a small mountain town west of Sarria, the last “big” city one passes through before arriving in Santiago…approximately 120 kilometers from here. The walk was through woods, through farms, [...]

Read More

Twentieth Gift of the Camino: Shoulda Coulda..

Last night I walked into my bunk room and a very nice lady from Australia named Pam (I changed the continent and the name to protect the innocent) was making up her bunk across from me. I walked three steps into the room and noticed her watching me walk in. Then she began to speak; [...]

Read More

Nineteenth Gift of the Camino: Carabiner the Silence and Stillness

Wikipedia’s definition of a Carabiner reads; A carabiner or karabiner is a specialized type of shackle, a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate used to quickly connect components to a backpack, rope, harness, etc. Until yesterday, I had not taken true day off. I had no particular need for a day off, gratefully; no blisters, [...]

Read More

Eighteenth Gift of the Camino: Love of Thyself….

What started 8 days ago (the last time I wrote) as loss of power, loss of plug converter, rain, wind and cold, and exhaustion has now given way to looking forward to each day, come what may. During the first two weeks of walking (I realize only now looking back) I was as fearful of [...]

Read More

Seventeenth Gift of the Camino: A Sandwich Changes Everything

Today when I left Burgos, a city that took a solid hour to exit on foot, I had nothing but a good night’s sleep to carry me. My slate was blank. I, impatiently, assumed it would not be a fruitful writing day. I met up with Elaina and Collin. Collin walked ahead, with a much [...]

Read More

Sixteenth Gift of the Camino: What Question Can I Leave You With?

I walked alone the last two days. This morning, Burt from Canada said he’d come along. I welcomed the company, which was also a fabulous diversion from wrestling the angel. Bert said kind things about the songs I sang a couple of nights earlier. We got to talking about his retirement, and his next thing [...]

Read More

Fifteenth Gift of the Camino: Weeping In The Cave, Wrestling an Angel

Today was a particularly difficult day. I was alone on the trail for nearly 100% of my walking, through a primeval forest with little place to rest on the 26 kilometer trek. While the walk itself was not challenging, I felt like I was in the “cave of the unknown,” a place I believe I [...]

Read More

Fourteenth Gift of the Camino: Camenar es mi Legado

As grace would have it, last night in Granon was better than I could have imagined. I cooked with Pierre from Canada, who I thought was with the Hospital the way he “owned” the kitchen. It was only after we were sauteing onions and garlic for a makeshift spaghetti sauce that we each realized we [...]

Read More

Thirteenth Gift of the Camino: Mats and Elbows

Today, my walk was just that, a walk! Though through miles of vineyards and casual hills, the muy frio wind kept me moving. Churches were often closed, and the one I counted on seeing in Santo Domingo was priced at 5 Euro to get in the door, through the gift shop to the actual sacred [...]

Read More

Twelfth Gift of the Camino: The Ghost in the Hall

Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, [...]

Read More

Eleventh Gift of the Camino: Ascension

Following my day in Zaragoza, I stayed the night in Logrono, and walked a short 8 miles to Navarette. Before retreating to La Sombra del Laurel, a wonderful little inn, I stumbled on an open church, a rare find for me on the Camino as many are closed during the day. It’s the Church of [...]

Read More

Tenth Gift of the Camino: “I’m barely here”

I visited the Plaza De Pilar today in Zaragoza. It’s an enormous, majestic, and glorious public square and site of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. Today is Day 2 of a 5 day celebration of Our Lady of the Pillar; flowers everywhere, set up on monuments, left at main and side altars [...]

Read More

Ninth Gift of the Camino: Clarity

Yesterday, the walk was priceless. Glorious weather, dirt and gravel roads, swaying fields of grapes, olive trees, and wheat. What else could one need but the beginnings of bread, wine, and olive oil! Today, not so much. It was 16 miles from Los Arcos to Logrono. It was too long a trip, unless something special [...]

Read More

Eighth Gift of the Camino: Restlessness

First thing out the door this morning, my pace was brisk. It wasn’t cold, but I wanted to fend off any cold that might be coming. I do that. I sometimes live, not for this moment, but in preparation for the next moment. No big deal, when one wants to stay warm for 15 miles [...]

Read More

Seventh Gift of the Camino: Ultreia y Suseia

On the trail everyone wishes each other well with the words “Buen Camino” meaning of course, Good Journey. I received a text a few days ago from Missy who suggested looking at page 61 of my map book for the explanation of Ultreia y Suseia…the ancient greeting and response of the Camino. Passing a pilgrim [...]

Read More

Sixth Gift of the Camino: Pain and Trust

I left Pamplona not knowing where I would wind up. I ended up putting one foot in front of the other and walking to Puente La Reine…famous for a centuries old bridge and a romantic feel. Early in the day, walking the concrete and curbs of a big city, my feet were in pain. I [...]

Read More

Fifth Gift of the Camino: The Abbey and Kathryn

I left Zubiri at 7:30 am. After a good night’s rest I was ready to be on the trail. Just outside of town there was a small blackboard, the kind that might sit outside a small restaurant promoting the Special of the Day. It read, “The Abbey is Open!” Since I started the journey, I [...]

Read More

Fourth Gift of the Camino: United Nations

Last night in Roncesvalles, a former monastery turned Pilgrim refuge, there was a Benediction and Liturgy for Pilgrims. All were welcome. After the simple and deliberate liturgy, just before the final blessing, the 3 priests concelebration gestured to everyone in the pews to come forward for a blessing. You could tell, as smiles grew on [...]

Read More

Third Gift of the Camino: Through Not Over

Days before I left for Spain, I had a long overdue coffee with Darwin; pastor, hospice chaplain, giver of care, gentle good soul…and my friend. As usual, we got through the little stuff pretty quickly. Family, work, life in general. With regard to one subject we were discussing intently, our conversation flowed freely, without judgment. [...]

Read More

Join Me in the Companion On The Journey Community

I’m offering to be your companion on the journey. I hope you’ll join me.

×