Wednesday, August 25, 2010


  pilgrim approaching Castrojeriz

Pilgrim of the world
Thy steps thy words
The road, thy song
the fatigue, thy prayer
And thy silence, finally thy speech.


thou art born for the way
That of pilgrimage
That other way leading to thyself
and thy quest
Already, God walks with thee."

an extract of parts from a longer poem  he was given at Navarrenx in France

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Road

on the Meseta
early one morning

The Road
Here is the road: the light
comes and goes then returns again.
Be gentle with your fellow travelers
as they move through the world of stone and stars
whirling with you yet every one alone.
The road waits.
Do not ask questions but when it invites you
to dance at daybreak, say yes.
Each step is the journey; a single note the song.

~ Arlene Gay Levine ~

by Nandy 61

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Be Mindful

two French men walking between Aroue and Ostabat, 
getting closer to the Pyrenees 
"Be mindful of the sound of your feet upon the road,
Be mindful of the warmth of the sun,
Be mindful of the smell of the earth after the rain,
Keep in mind the wonder of it all.

There’s a dance our bodies long to dance,
There’s a song our voices long to sing,
There’s a dream our planet’s dreaming of,
Sing and dance her dream upon the earth."

by Chris Skinner SM


"When I got upstairs to the office I asked if they had seen the queue. 
“Tell us” Eva said and when I did she blessed herself. 
“Headbangers” all, I thought fondly. Me included. 
Why else would we stand and wait for a stamp and a certificate 
which to many is just a piece of paper?

The answer is of course that it marks the end of a significant journey. 
A personal pilgrimage which has taken time and effort."

about his experience in the Pilgrim Office

When I finally stood in the square in front of the Cathedral in Santiago
I knew I had achieved something that was both
-very simple- a succession of day walks, mostly not too hard, and also
-amazing- a feat of endurance and perseverance that had taken me nearly three months.

I wasn't really sure whether I should ask for the Compostela, or the non-religious certificate, 
but I knew I would treasure the piece of paper I was given at the Pilgrim Office!

Addendum: 25 August 
Rebekah has just reported a tragic death on her blog, where a Frenchwoman died in an accident on the journey home, after finishing her pilgrimage and receiving her Compostela. Those at the Pilgrim's Office immediately arranged a memorial Mass to pray for her. It adds a whole new layer of 'special-ness' to the meaning of the Compostela.
' friends at the pilgrim office in Santiago de Compostela got to work. They looked up the pilgrim credentials, they hustled over to the cathedral office, and the Monolithic Catholic Institution everyone rails against worked like a well-oiled machine to celebrate a beautiful memorial Mass for "la peregrina Frances."'

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


"All walking is discovery. 
On foot we take the time to see things whole."

~ Hal Borland
My friends from Quebec walking in Galicia,
in the last few days before we arrived in Santiago.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coming down from the mountaintop....

on the descent from O'Cebreiro to Triacastela

"No one lives on the top of the mountain.
It’s fine to go there occasionally
—for inspiration, for new perspectives.
But you have to come down. Life is lived in the valleys.
That’s where the farms and gardens and orchards are,
and where the plowing and the work is done.
That’s where you apply the visions
you may have glimpsed from the peaks." 

~Arthur Gordon

Friday, August 6, 2010

Irish Blessing

four lovely ladies from St Etienne who looked after the foreigner at dinner in Saugues
seen here donning all their layers against the cold near Chanaleilles

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

"Que les chemins s 'ouvrent pour t 'accueillir,
Que le vent souffle toujours dans ton dos,
Que le soleil brille modérément sur ton visage,
Que la pluie tombe fine sur tes champs,
Et, en attenant notre prochaine rencontre,
Que Dieu te garde dans la paume de Sa main."

~An Irish Blessing
French translation as seen at  Eunate in Spain 
and posted to Camino Forum