Camino de Santiago

Month: May, 2016

Emptying Out First


One of the effects of walking the Camino de Santiago is that really takes a lot out of you physically and emotionally as you struggle day after day to “get in your miles for the day”. It is an all day, everyday thing and it tends to really drain you out. You are emptied out so to speak each day and then renew yourselves each night with rest and food and fellowship with other pilgrims. It tends to humble one.

I was thinking about how important this lesson, of “emptying oneself out”, is in life. How important it is to be humble. Just as you cannot put any more water in a full glass of water, you also can not fill up ourselves with the ability to love others if we are full of ourselves. One of the ugliest things on earth is a egotistical and prideful person that is “full of themselves”. I am sure we would not want anyone like that dating our daughter.  Conversely, there is something very attractive in a person that is humble. They have emptied themselves out and have filled the space with love and concern of others.

That can also be one of the special gifts we get when we become parents. We suddenly have this precious little one in our lives and we just want to empty out ourselves so we can fill the void with the love and care we have for them.

We are wired it seems, to a great extent, to fill our lives with our own selfish wants and desires and sometimes we leave little to no space left over for others. This idea of emptying out oneself I think takes a very conscious and daily effort on our part, as I suspect for many us does not come naturally. Maybe that is also the value of taking time each day to meditate and pray or to sit in silence. It forces us to slow down to empty out so that we can be more filled with love and concern for others not just ourselves.

Let’s all remember this week to try a bit harder in our lives to empty out ourselves of so many of our selfish wants and desires and preoccupations to we have some space leftover for others! What a world it would be if we all did this!



Photograph of the Week

Chocolate Lilly

This lovely wildflower was found during our recent Spring hike to Mt Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula.  What a wonderful  “little beauty” this  flower is!!!

I Arise Today

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It is not hard to recall the experience of walking the Camino as it has a lasting impact on one. It sticks with you. One aspect of the walk came to mind this week as I was reading the prayer called “St Patrick’s Breastplate“. It begins with the words, “I Arise Today”.

Each morning before the sun arose, we would wake and wipe what sleep we had from our eyes, wash our face and brush our teeth and put on our boots and head out. Each day was a challenge, especially early in the walk, as your body was rebelling and telling you to go back to bed. Yet, we “arose today” and kept going as we had miles to go and new and interesting sights to see and people to meet.

One of the parts of this St Patrick’s Breastplate prayer I like is the following verse. I know that arising each morning was made easier knowing that there was some amazing beauty in the sunrise or the landscapes we would be walking through.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I say let us all “Arise Today” and be awakened by the beauty of all the creation that surrounds us!



Photograph of the Week

The Beauty of the Balsamroot

The Balsamroot flower is a spectacular wildflower in the Spring. It grows profusely all over the East side of the mountains. What a photographers dream it is to photograph this most glorious and bold flower!