Camino de Santiago

Month: December, 2020


“I have never been separate from God, nor can I be, except in my mind” Richard Rohr

I wonder how many pilgrims that walk the Camino de Santiago, find after their long walk, their mind, body and soul are aligned and their connectedness with nature and other pilgrims has grown. I think that for me that was one of the benefits I did not really expect but definitely experienced from walking the Camino. Time walking in nature has some benefits we sometimes do not understand till we have experienced them.

This past year, I have been even more mindful and thoughtful during all my city and mountain hikes. I have tried to concentrate on experiencing every leaf, branch, root, tree, mushroom, wildflower as if for the first time. To savor and linger has been my mindset. To truly connect my mind, body and soul together with nature. I can tell you it has been truly a healing balm for me this pandemic year of isolation.

I read recently the Latin root of the word religion, is re-ligare, which is translated “to reconnect”. Now, this make sense to me. This indeed is what I believe happens as we dwell and savor our time in nature, we are “re-connecting” again to the source of life. That is why I loved the quote at the top of this blog. “I have never been separated from God (the source of life), nor can I be, except in my mind”. Unfortunately, it is hard to keep ourselves connected as we live in a world that can seem like it is pulling us apart. We can experience times where we feel totally disconnected from from within – mind, body and soul and with each other.

Could this be an illusion? I dare say that this quote is probably right. It is in our minds or mindset.

I say it is time to “get religion”, to re-connect by savoring our time in nature and with each other in love and solidarity.

May we all stay safe and connected!


Photograph of the Month

A Look Into Eternity

This is an image taken along the shore of the Moclips River right close to where the river enters the ocean. I took the image in 2018 and have continue to work on it over the years till it all came together recently in this final image.

P.S. The image at the top of this blog came during a hike to Esmeralda Basin in Central Washington in 2016. The tree and the swirling background from two images I captured that day.

Coronavirus Camino

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart. And try to love the questions themselves.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Now here is a quote for you! I decided to open with this quote as I am finding it so appropriate as the Coronavirus continues to ravage our country. I am finding it so hard to stay diligent and patient as we await the days we can return back to “normal”. I am also finding there are so many unanswered questions in my head. How much longer is this really going to be? I am tired of this and want it to end now. When will I get the vaccine? When will it be safe for us to gather indoors and hug again? How much longer will I need to wear a mask and socially distance? If I get the virus will there be room for me in a hospital?

Walking the Camino is all about living with the unanswered questions. Can we really do this? Will our bodies be able to endure this physical endurance test? Can we get to our destination today in time before all the accommodations are filled? Can we keep with the schedule we had planned? What will it feel like if we make it to the end? We had lots of questions unanswered until we finally finished the Camino walk.

We are on a similar journey this year was we walk the “Coronavirus Camino”. So much is unknown with the disorder that the Coronavirus created in our lives. We have all experienced losses, anxiety and confusion as this virus has disrupted our entire lives.

This whole year has been one big “I don’t know“. Unanswered questions. If you are like me, you probably don’t like unanswered questions. I find that I want to get the answer or figure some way to make it go away (ignore, blame, scapegoat are some of my favorites). Yet, maybe there is a better way to deal with the unanswered questions. Much like our Camino questions, maybe we simply need to hold the questions “in our hearts” and face the reality “I don’t know“.

We did not find out the answers to our questions on the Camino till we finished the walk. We simply trusted and kept walking. I would suggest that might not be a bad idea for us to consider as well for our “Coronavirus Camino”. Let’s try to “loving” the unanswered questions and trusting and walking till we get to the final destination, “life after the coronavirus“.

Stay safe and keep loving!


Photograph of the Month

Walking To Eternity

This is an image I captured this week during a hike in the snow up at Mt Baker Ski area with my good friend, Bob Maier. We experienced a very special moment together when at one point, the lighting, shadow and lines of the fresh snow were simply sublime and we were both transfigured by it. We both we silent and just took it all in. We both were simply one with all the universe at this time. Lovely, wish we could have stayed there forever.


The image that is at the top of this post was captured during a hike to Whistle Lake near Anacortes. I belong to a photography sharing website called Unsplash and this image has been viewed by over two million people and download by almost 9,000 people. Unsplash is a copyright free stock photography website. It gives downloaders the right to “copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash”. It does prohibit selling unaltered copies, including selling the photos as prints or printed on physical goods.

I have had one of my photographs used in a book and given credit. I mostly love doing it because I want my photography to be enjoyed by as many as possible. I really do not care about any of the credit. I know that might sound strange but “hey, that is the way I roll.”

Here is a link to my Unsplash photographs that have been accepted for distribution.

Unsplash – John’s Images