Saturday, October 13, 2012

Names and Dawns

On the path between Azofra and Santo Domingo de la Calzada
"Blessed are you pilgrim, when you contemplate
 the "camino" and you discover it is full of names and dawns"

This year I re-walked some of the Camino Frances that I had walked in 2008. One of the things I noticed was that in certain places, I had very strong associations with people I had met there. In this place, I was strongly reminded of my friend Lyne, who was starting to struggle badly with her knee. Somewhere soon after this I walked ahead while she rested with her husband, then never saw them again for several days- but we heard news of each other from others and were to be re-united in Burgos...

Another 'treasure' of this part of the walk was that because of the heat, it became quite normal to leave early, and many 'dawns' were seen. Truly one of the special things on the Camino.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happiness within you

snow on the ground leaving Montbonnet
"Your success and happiness lies in you. 
Resolve to keep happy, 
and your joy and you 
shall form an invincible host against difficulties."
~ Helen Keller

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pilgrim's Prayer

on the Napoleon Route over the Pyrenees

 Lord show me the way
and give me strength to follow it

~Pilgrim's Prayer of St Birgitta (of Sweden, 1303-1373)

-given to me by Elisabet from Sweden
 before I started the Chemin from Cluny

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Music of the soul

Looking back at Conques, one of the jewels of the Le Puy Chemin

"I need simply and only to wait upon God without expectation, 
and God, all longing, resting in me, 
will breathe in me the music of my soul."
~Edwina Gately 

Quote sent to me by a friend just before my departure for Cluny, 2012.

Taking a Walk

leaving Orisson for the rest of the Napoleon Route across the Pyrenees
"Few people know how to take a walk. 
The qualifications are endurance, 
plain clothes, old shoes, 
an eye for nature, good humor, 
vast curiosity, 
good speech, good silence 
and nothing too much.... "

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, February 2, 2012


a gift left for pilgrims on a simple little seat on the outskirts of Moissac

"Believe in the whisperings of God to your own heart"
~ Mary MacKillop 
as quoted by Bishop John Dew after his return from the Camino

It was a beautiful walk to Moissac, but quite a lot was on hard tarmac, 
and my feet were feeling tender as I reached the outskirts of the city.
Imagine my joy to find a simple little seat under a tree
with a sign that said it was a rest area for pilgrims,
and someone had even left some lollies on the little table. 
I sat down, took off my boots and socks- oh sweet relief-
put some tape on the 'hot spots' on my feet
ate a lolly, and was refreshed
as there were still several kms of city walking before the gîte.

I don't know who set up this simple little rest area
or left the lollies
but the love showed.
It seemed like they had listened to a whisper of God to their heart.

Reaching out

crops waving in the wind between Montcuq and Lauzerte

"There are things you can't reach
but you can reach out to them
and all day long.
The wind,
the bird flying away.
The idea of God."

~ Mary Oliver

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God on the journey

"The feeling remains that God is on the journey too."
~Teresa of Avila

The day I walked to Los Arcos the landscapes were simply stunning, all day
but for some unexplained reason (maybe I was a little dehydrated)
in the latter part of the walk everything seemed too hard
and I had this awful feeling of being lost
that I would never find a village
that I would wander aimlessly here for hours...

But when I reached the village, there was a group of Irishmen 
sitting outside a cafe who asked how I was
and for once I said the truth - that it was hard and I felt lost.
They were my angels- I sat and conversed with them
I had dinner with them and I was 'found' again.
They were all fervent Christians these Irishmen
and it seemed like God knew I needed looking after this day.

This moment

spring leaves, one morning en route for Moissac

"We have only this moment,
sparkling like a star in our hand,
and melting like a snowflake."
~Sir Francis Bacon

One of the 'lessons' for me on the Camino was that you could spend time 
thinking about your sore feet or other body woes 
or you could just accept them, and instead notice 
and be thankful
and there were always so many things to notice and be thankful for
now, in the present moment.