Sunday, May 22, 2011

Once and future pilgrims

A few short months have passed since our return from the Camino, but in a sense we never left it. Each day we talk, to some degree or another, about its impact on us. We nibble around the edges of a variety of scenarios that all lead us back to Spain to that unique fulfillment that the Camino experience provides. Hospitalero training and volunteering, longer routes, shorter routes, no established routes all are in orbit as possibilities as we consider the next step in our relationship with the Camino and the community of travelers it embraces. Time and money are the two practical matters that loom ever present. Sometimes those matters are in the foreground but mostly in the background as we don't want constraints on our dreams. In our experience audacious plans have always found a pathway to fruition. Why shackle one's imagination. Life really is too short to undershoot or sell short what your heart calls you to do. Sure there will be trade offs and sacrifices but dreams can become reality and should. Caution, security, and stability all have a place in our lives, but these concerns should be tempered so as not to be allowed to limit our lives, cripple our imaginations, and strip us of hope.

Think back on any work environment and see what becomes of youth after a career of sacrifice, caution, and dreams denied. It is pretty chilling. Obviously, work careers are not always that bleak, but frequently enough, they are. Enough of that, as we each know where our particular balance point between acknowledging our responsibilities and converting hope to action lies. My point being (at last) that our peace will never be discovered on a field of trepidation. Find the courage to dream large and stop living in the future as the present is all we truly have and can count on.

So, taking our own words of advice Robin and I will be looking to return to the Camino next year. Our hope is that we can have a plan in place by next summer to walk the Arles route into Spain, via the Somport pass, and then continue down the Camino Frances to Santiago and on to Finisterre. This is a longer route (about a 1000 miles total) and a bit more rigorous as there is a fair amount of mountain walking, but courage mes amis, along with the prayers of pilgrims past will win the day. Our preference would be to start in the fall so as to arrive at Finisterre by mid December and allow time to be home at Christmas. Robin promised her choir director that she would not jump ship over Christmas again. Some constraints, as we see, are simply there.


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