Camino de Santiago

Month: February, 2016

The Four Cardinal Virtues


We recently went to a movie called “The Finest Hours”. It is based on a true story about a daring Coast Guard rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952 during a winter blizzard. It is a fabulous movie and I highly recommend seeing it. I came away from the movie thinking about the virtues that were on display by the heroes of this  movie.  The foundational virtues that I saw were from the from what are called the Cardinal Virtues. They are: Wisdom (Prudence), Justice, Courage (Fortitude) and Moderation (Self Control, Temperance). The heroes of this movie displayed the best of all these four virtues under extremely demanding and life threatening conditions. The movie is very inspiring for this reason, I believe.

Those that have walked the Camino, surely display some of these virtues as well as it is  very demanding physically and mentally and emotionally. The virtues of courage/fortitude surely comes to mind. We also saw justice as those that were hurting and walking slowly were cared for and looked after by many of the fellow pilgrims. People took time out of their “walk schedules” to make sure they got the care and help they needed.

Another key for pilgrims walking the Camino, was being prudent and wise to make sure and listen to your body as you were walking. It is such a demanding walk and it is can be easy to get caught up in it and ignore those important signs that your body is telling you. There is so much you learn about yourself on a trip like this.

On further reflection of these four virtues, I was also struck with how absolutely vital they are to being a great leader. A couple of these virtues that I find interesting to think about as we ponder who our next President will be are: Self Control/Restraint and Prudence/Wisdom. When I think about some of the candidates I am very concerned that there is a distinct lack of these virtues being displayed. I remember as a supervisor the times I had to remind folks in my team about these key virtues in regards to email communication. It is so easy to let our emotions fly and respond with little prudence or self control when we let our emotions drive our behavior. How easy it is to reply back to that email that really ticked you off when we are filled with emotion.  The prudent approach was to apply some self control and not respond right away!

I think it is good for us all to remember these key virtues and work harder in our lives to nurture and grow them stronger in our lives. The world will be a better place for sure!



Photograph of the Week

Snowscapes Await

Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow. One of the beautiful things about snow is what it can do to the landscapes. Snow on trees creates magic. I took this during a snowshoe last month to Skyline Lake near Stevens Pass.



Less Is More

Camera Gear

I have a hard time choosing one thing, as I find that I am someone that wants “to choose all”. Yet the truth is that less is often more.

Walking the Camino, we were faced with this “less is more” dilemma. We could not take everything we wanted in our packs. We tried very hard to get our pack weight down to the minimum but once we started hiking we quickly realized our packs were too heavy. After a week of walking we decided to ship to Santiago de Compostela (our final destination) those items we felt we did not need. The lighter packs were a delight! We felt so relieved and really enjoyed walking with the reduced weight and it gave us extra energy.

I was reading a book about travel photography this past week and it made me think of this same issue again. As many of you may know, I love to photography and I carry around a lot of camera gear when I hike or when we are traveling (I ALWAYS carry a tripod!).

This book was challenging me to establishing constraints. Less is more was the advice. The author of the book made the point that in choosing to go with less, there is more room for creativity and less energy expended on the camera gear (and all the choices it presents). The author, David DuChemin also makes this important point as well:

“It will scare you at first, because freedom is like that, and much as we think we like choice, it’s often the hardest thing to do.”

I do see the point being made here. By having less camera gear, I will become more available and open to see and create. Less cluttered with worry about not having the right lens for the shot.

Ok, I get it. Now let’s see if I can take this advice to heart on my next outdoor adventure! Less is more, less is more, less is more!


Photograph of the Week

Sit Awhile and Dream

I took the photo last week during a walk in a Las Vegas Wetlands Park. It had a park bench by it so you could take in the peaceful view. I sat a while and then spent some time to trying to capture its beauty. When I got home and processed the image I decided to draw out the dream quality of my time at this wetland pond. I hope you like the final result.