Pilgrimpace's Blog


reflecting

Coming back from our Camino Ingles walk has meant going straight into a week of intensive work.  Today has been my first chance to draw breath and reflect.

I feel deeply refreshed, spiritually and mentally, by the Camino, if still a bit short on sleep.  The Ingles meant for a short Camino of a few days, but it was an epic.  It is interesting for me to compare it with the much longer Levante a couple of years ago.

It was, of course, a profound privilege to be able to walk it with Meenakshi.  Sharing this has deepened our relationship; we have learned about each other and ourselves.  And it felt a real achievement to have done it, hence those happy faces in the Obradoiro Square in Santiago – here we are in better weather the next day:

We stayed in albergues (pilgrim hostels) and hostals; we ate bocadillos and menus; we walked around 45 miles; we met other pilgrims; new friendships were made and others deepened.  I will give a report on the route and tell some of the stories that came out of it soon – although Meenakshi has already told the one of me falling right at the end, which may be the best one.  For me, the memories are held and prompted in my credencial, the pilgrim passport with its stamps:

I like walking the Camino routes.  There is the fact of it being a pilgrimage, of walking to Santiago Cathedral, to the Apostle’s Tomb, to make prayers for particular people and situations.  There is the sense of it being a conscious walk with God, of us doing our best to begin and end the day with prayers, of the times of silent walking so that prayers can be made, of going to Mass when possible.

There is the sense of walking with other pilgrims – both now and past.  Thinking about the folk who made the difficult voyage from Bristol to La Coruna and then walked – although remembering that their route is probably shared with the N550; Some present day pilgrims (not us) walked its hard shoulder to save a kilometre or two on that dreadfully wet last day.

Taking a rest in a tunnel under a railway, we found a psalm and a prayer pasted to the wall by a pilgrim a few weeks before; their prayers inspiring and helping us on to our goal:

The Camino route took us through a great deal of peaceful beauty, but it is also deeply honest and incarnational.  It meant walking out of urban A Coruna, through the industrial zones on the outskirts of Sigueiro, past outer urban social housing and then beggars in Santiago.  It is not an escape from the difficulties of the world.  Coming back home to the realities of ministry in outer urban parishes in a time of recession and economic and social difficulty, to the Occupy protests (and the initial mess that St Paul’s had made in London), I am glad that I walked the Way I did.  There is a very close connection, a deep reality of it all being taken into prayer, of a new readiness to exercise my priesthood.  A deeply good pilgrimage.

 

 

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Absolutely love the picture of the both of you in front of the cathedral! The only way to perhaps “improve” on it…would be the whole family!

I very much liked the prayer and psalm left behind in the tunnel…might have to give that a thought for future camino’s..a small token for the people following behind. A gentle reminder that they aren’t alone on the road.

Comment by karin

Thanks for this reflection on such a very special camino with your daughter. And I like how you relate it all to the ‘real’ world. What a wonderful experience for you both. Like Karin, I was moved to see those prayers pasted up in the tunnel.

Comment by The Solitary Walker

thank you both.

I’ll try to remember to post close up photos of those prayers – they were really important on a day of terrible weather

Comment by pilgrimpace




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