by jphiker

People come from all over the world to experience walking the Camino de Santiago and yet the Camino can humble you with the its demands it makes on your body, mind and spirit. The Camino demands our respect.

I recently learned that the French translation of the word “respect” means “to look at a second time”. When we made the decision we were going to try and walk the Camino, we definitely “took a second look” to dig deeper into this long walk. We read books and listened to talks by those who walked it. We began training and preparing months in advance of the walk and then on September 12th, 2014, we started walking the Camino. We had a healthy respect for what we were undertaking.

Within a couple of weeks of walking, we began having problems with our feet and legs. The endurance test of walking 500 miles slowly begins wearing on you. We felt the real lived experience of walking this far. The Camino was forcing us to “look again a second time”, are we crazy we thought? Can we really finish this walk on time to catch our plane home? We had to make adjustments as the physical toll on our bodies was slowing us down and we had made changes to accommodate. We decided we had to catch up with our daily walk schedule and in some cases we took a bus, taxi or a train to get us back on track. We continued to make small changes and adaptations to our routines throughout the walk and when we completed the walk, we felt the joy that could not be described. We finished Camino on October 14th, 2014. The Camino definitely continues to hold our “respect”.

I would like to finish this blog on “re-spect”, with a little different take on this word. You see, I really like this idea of taking a “second look” or taking the time to “re – speculate” on what life presents to us each day. We had an opportunity to practice this recently when we rented a house on the Oregon coast. Everyday we would go out to the local beaches wondering what surprise would we see that day. Like little children, we went back over and over to some of our favorite low tide pool areas. What will we see today? We quickly discovered that “repetition was not redundancy”. We learned that being certain is the enemy of wonder, surprise and awe. We learned that to see with eyes of wonder you needed the “eyes of re-spect”.

May all the world begin to see with the “eyes of re-spect”!

Grace and blessings,


Photograph of the Month

High Density Living

Exploring the tide pools of the Oregon coast just south of Newport, Oregon we discovered such plentiful and abundant inter tidal sea life. It seems that the starfish and the anemone don’t mind living in close quarters!