weareallpilgrims

Camino de Santiago

Month: August, 2015

Joy In The Journey

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I have always loved the expression “there is joy in the journey”. Walking the Camino de Santiago was not always a joy-filled journey. We faced a number of very tiring long days that seemed to drag on forever. We were in very cramped quarters we lots of other very tired pilgrims and at times it was quite trying on our patience. The first two weeks of our walk were very hot days and some of the hot afternoons were really tough to maintain the “joy in the journey” attitude.

So where is that “joy in the journey” when you are going through such a long, long walk through Spain?

Terri and I found the joy in the wonderful people we met along the way and the beauty of this rural landscapes we walked through together. We found joy in being present and open to each other and to new experiences. As I have mentioned in past blogs, we were walking much slower than many of the pilgrims and we saw things that others walked right by. Maybe we walk by a lot of people and things in our lives that would give us joy because we are moving so fast in our lives.

I believe we experience our deepest joys in life by slowing down and recalling how we have loved and are being loved in return. When we are kind and generous and forgiving people, we will experience this “joy in the journey”. I think the opposite is also true too. When we are selfish, unkind, ungenerous, and are unable to forgive, our “joy in the journey” will escape us. We will find “no joy in the journey”.

It is not the easiest path to follow at times, to maintain a “joy in the journey” but we can make the choice. We did indeed experience much “joy in our Camino journey” and for this we are very thankful!

Camino Pano of the Week

Coming Down From O’Cebreiro

The high mountain town of O’Cebreiro in the Galatian mountains was very windy and rainy when we got there. Coming down off the mountain the next day we had some great landscapes that made us think of Ireland.

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A Clean Slate

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I think it is good for us all to have a clean slate once in a while. There are all kinds of events in our lives that create the opportunity for a fresh start. A change in our residence, starting a new job or going to a new school, getting married or divorced, deaths of family or friends are some of the major events that can lead us to a clean slate. Other times our clean slate may come from something smaller like starting a new class, going on a vacation with a tour group for the first time or starting a blog for the first time.

One very clear memory for me of starting a clean slate occurred when I graduated from 8th grade. I suffered a lot of emotional stress due to my inability to socially integrate with my classmates during these grade school years. I felt a lot of isolation. When I received my acceptance letter from O’Dea High School that I had been accepted, I can still remember the feeling like it was yesterday. This was my chance to start anew! I could not wait. A fresh start is all I needed. I had none of the problems that haunted me during grade school. I really grew both socially and academically at O’Dea. A fresh start or a clean slate can be really helpful for us in our growth to being a better man or woman.

Terri and I have experienced a couple of big clean slates in our lives as well. When we got married, we both took 3 months off our jobs to backpack. We backpacked in the Cascades, Sierras and the Canadian Rockies. We even climbed Mt Baker together!  What a way to begin our new lives together. We learned a lot of about each other as we hiked and climbed through the mountains.  She really did love me!

The Camino de Santiago was our other big opportunity to start anew. One of our reasons to walk the Camino was to begin our retirement together with a fresh start. We really had to lean on each other and support each other to make it all the way. We were by each others side the whole time. We spent a lot of time together as we would in our retirement. It was for me, also a time to process more that my life as a Boeing manager/engineer was now complete, and I was retired. The Camino did a great job of helping me make this transition.

I know that many folks that walk the Camino, are doing it often to establish a clean slate in their lives. It turns out though there are often many opportunities out there for us all to latch onto when we are looking for clean slate in our lives to begin anew. I encourage you to look for them in your life as they can be very important for your growth!

Blessings,

John

Camino Pano of the Week

Country Pathways

There was some wonderful country walking paths to walk on the Camino. This tree certainly got my attention. I stitch about 6 images together to get this full image . There are some big trees left in Spain.

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