weareallpilgrims

Camino de Santiago

Month: October, 2015

Blessings of Pilgrimmage

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Believe it our not, it has been now a year since Terri and I finished our Camino walk! We finished our walk on October 14th. Wow, hard to believe it has been a year now! I have to say, it has been a real pleasure to continue to writing this blog. Thanks to all of you that have encouraged me to keep writing. It means a lot to me hear those words of encouragement.

When I setup this blog, I titled it “we are all pilgrims”, because I realized we are all “on a journey” in this life. We give over our lives in our journeys, to get to our goals. We certainly had a clear goal for our Camino walk, like so many of the pilgrims that walked before us, our goal was to get to the Cathedral in the city of Santiago de Compostela. In our Camino walk to Santiago, we certainly “gave over our lives” for this journey! We experienced, like many that have traveled this way, all the aches and pains and joys and blessings of this pilgrimage walk. To me, this is the truth in life for all our “journeys” we take.

The ancient Israelite people used to take pilgrimage walks to the Temple in the city of Jerusalem where they would participate in festivities and ritual worship. To hear God’s name spoken, and to receive the holy blessing called the “Aaronic Blessing” was the high point and goal of the pilgrimage. On our Camino pilgrimage to the Santiago Cathedral, we also experienced so many wonderful blessings throughout our walk. We both fondly remember being blessed to find after a long hot afternoon of walking, a little cafe, where we could enjoy our favorite Spanish drink, a thirst-quenching Schweppes Orange! Another favorite food memory we had was the hot bowl of Galacian soup we were so happy to have after a long rainy climb to the Galacian mountain city of O’Cebreiro. So many good memories of blessings upon blessings!

There are always blessings upon blessings along the way for us pilgrims!

I will leave this post wishing you and your family the “Aaronic Blessing”!

“The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

John

Camino Pano of the Week

Green Mountain

The area of Galacia was a region that was similar in climate to the Pacific Northwest. On the long climb up to the city of O’Cebreiro, we saw some beautiful countryside!

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The Community of the Trail

20140916-LosArco-Viana-17 Panorama-50x30I have been in love with hiking since I was a young boy. It really started when I was a Boy Scout and I had this awesome Scoutmaster that loved to hike. He seemed to light a fire in me that has never burned out. I find great comfort and feel at home on the hiking trail.

One thing about hiking though is that it is safest and best if with hike together with others. When we hike with others we have a share in some sort of bond together. Often our shared experiences are a combination of highs and lows; especially if the weather takes a bad turn during the hike or those endless switchbacks seem to go on forever! Anyone that hikes has a story or two, they love to share with others. I know when I get together with family or friends, we will often recall some of our really tough hikes where things did not go so well.

I titled this blog post, the community of trail because I really think that the hiking trails are the places we share community. In a healthy community, people look out for each other. They share their joys and sorrows.

I know that my son-in-law’s mother, would agree with me. She took a bad fall a few years ago while hiking and broke her ankle. She was in bad shape when two young men came across her hanging on the side of the trail for dear life. They pulled her back on the trail as others went to get her help. They stayed with her for several hours till she could be helicoptered off the mountain. She has kept in touch with them since the accident and in fact they have become “family” as they have participated in some of our family events. She refers to them as her “sons of another mother.”

Terri and I were also a part of a “trail community” when we walked the Camino trail. You quickly grow into the “Camino pilgrim family ” when you are walking day in and day out for weeks and sleeping and eating together often. You share so much in common and you are always looking out for each other. We received so much helpful advice along the way that really helped us in our journey.

I believe we all long to be in community and feel the sense of being loved. I know that hiking is not everyone’s “cup of tea” but I have found in my life that there is, indeed, a sense of community and love on the trails.

Happy Trails,

John

Camino Pano of the Week

Vineyard Dawn

Walking in the early morning for several hours before dawn in the dark is not all the fun. The upside of that is getting to walk just as the sun comes up. This was in through a vineyard after leaving the town of Najera.