I am going on a journey. In fact, we are all on a journey. It is often said in Spanish, "La vida es como un camino" (Life is like a journey). As with all journeys, it has already begun with my preparations. And, as with all pilgrimages, the journey really begins when you step out of your house into the world. I will be leaving my house on May 23 for a 6-week journey across northern Spain called, "El Camino Francés" (that's the orange route in the map above), which traces a 1,000-year old pilgrim's path to the cathedral of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela. There are many resources about the rich history of this 3rd most popular pilgrimage. Google it. For a more modern take on the Camino, watch this video:
I first heard about this pilgrimage from Anthony. His mother gave him a book called, "To The Field of Stars" by Fr. Kevin Codd, which chronicled one priest's journey on the Camino de Santiago. Anthony loved the book so much, he made me read it too. I loved it: The journey; the intentions; the purpose. I briefly considered making the journey to petition for a cure for Anthony's brain tumor. He, of course, didn't want me to leave his side. I'm glad I stayed to spend as much time with him as I could.
After Anthony died on February 7 this year, thoughts of the pilgrimage returned to my head. Now my purpose was not to petition for a cure—he is already free of his debilitating illness—but, to give thanks for our relationship, thanks for the many life lesson I have learned through his life and death, and to move forward in my own life without him—keeping those lessons in mind.
There are so many lessons. Lessons on fear, loss, anger, patience, guilt, authenticity, relationships, love, and surrender. If you are the praying type, please consider that I write these lesson on my heart in order to share them freely with all those in my life as I move forward.
A wise friend recently told me that exceptional things come to us, for whatever reason, at points in our life when we are least expecting them. That to me is the perfect picture of surrender. It is in surrender when we are able to receive. Life will be over sooner that we think. If we have journey's to make and people to love, the time is now!
I will be following the route found in the guide book, "A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean - Roncesvalles - Santiago" by John Brierley. Below are my 33 days of walking, plus two rest days:
01) May, 25: San Jean Pied-de-Port, France - Roncevalles 25.1 km
02) May 26: Roncesvalles - Larrasoaña 27.4 km
03) May 27: Larrasoaña - Cizur Menor 20.9 km
04) May 28: Cizur Menor - Puente la Reina 19.0 km
05) May 29: Puente la Reina - Estella 21.9 km
06) May 30: Estella - Los Arcos 21.1 km
07) May 31: Los Arcos - Logroño 28.1 km
08) Jun 01: Logroño - Nájera 29.4 km
09) Jun 02: Nájera - Santo Domingo de la Calzada 21.0 km
10) Jun 03: Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Belorado 23.9 km
11) Jun 04: Belorado - San Juan de Ortega 24.1 km
12) Jun 05-06: San Juan de Ortega - Burgos 25.6 km
13) Jun 07: Burgos - Hornillos del Camino 20.0 km
14) Jun 08: Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz 21.2 km
15) Jun 09: Castrojeriz - Frómista 25.5 km
16) Jun 10: Frómista - Carrión de los Condes 19.7 km
17) Jun 11: Carrión de los Condes - Terradillos de los Templarios 26.8 km
18) Jun 12: Terradillos de los Templarios - El Burgo Ranero 30.4 km
19) Jun 13: El Burgo Ranero - Mansilla de las Mulas 24.5 km
20) Jun 14: Mansilla de las Mulas - León 18.6 km
21) Jun 15: León - San Martín del Camino 23.1 km
22) Jun 16: San Martín del Camino - Astorga 30.1 km
23) Jun 17: Astorga - Rabanal del Camino 21.4 km
24 )Jun 18: Rabanal del Camino - Molinaseca 26.5 km
25) Jun 19: Molinaseca - Villafranca del Bierzo 30.7 km
26) Jun 20: Villafranca del Bierzo - O Cebreiro 30.1 km
27) Jun 21: O Cebreiro - Triacastela 20.7 km
28) Jun 22: Triacastela - Sarria 25.0 km
29) Jun 23: Sarria - Portomarín 22.9 km
30) Jun 24: Portomarín - Palas de Rei 26.1 km
31) Jun 25: Palas de Rei - Ribadiso da Baixo 26.4 km
32) Jun 26: Ribadiso da Baixo - Santa Irene 19.5 km
33) Jun 27 or 28*: Santa Irene - Santiago de Compostela 22.1 km
Total distance: 800 km.
*I may take unplanned rest day ealier along the route, so I am not sure which day I will arrive in Santiago.
After I reach Santiago, it is my hope to continue walking to Finisterre, or "Land's End" with my dear friend Alessio who lives in Rome. More on that adventure as it develops.
So, here I go...I will try to update this blog frequently as I travel as I am able. So, please feel free to subscribe to this blog.