|Robin on a late afternoon training walk|
Robin and I have purchased our air tickets and made all other travel arrangements to get from Vancouver, WA, to St. Jean Pied de Port by Dec 30th. God willing we will start our second trip down the Camino Frances on Dec 31st. We have been preparing for this upcoming Camino since the day we returned from our first one, two years ago. In those many months in between much has transpired that has made us ever more aware of our call to, and appreciation of, the Camino. Suffice it to say this is where we want to be. This is where we need to be. As for the rest that is in God's hands. For our part, we have stayed in shape, reassessed our gear, avoided the burden of expectations, and made promises to be better pilgrims in all that that means.
|A stretch at Tidewater Cove, Columbia River|
The simple bliss of going on pilgrimage overshadows all the conjured images of problems trying in vain to gain traction in our minds. No travelers anywhere are sheltered from adversity, but we have come to believe that although pain (adversity, discomfort, etc.) may be present suffering is optional. It is our hope, and intention, to practice this as we inch our way westward through the wintery landscape. As always, it is the understanding of the unique opportunity found in this journey that cautions us to be worthy travelers ready to compassionately share the pilgrim road, with its bounty and its bumps, with all fellow pilgrims that we encounter. The blessing of this growing pilgrim community is a shared willingness to embrace, encourage, comfort, and support all those encountered as we continue the journey. Each of us has a special role to play to make this happen. The challenge is to move along the Camino (and make our way through life) in such a manner that our inherent selfishness does not prevent us from recognizing and responding to the needs of others. I find that walking with a humble heart, open to God's grace, helps that process along nicely. But, hey, that's just me. Or, is that you, too?
|Fall foliage along our walking route|
|Lengthening shadows at Fort Vancouver Park|
|A chilly (but dry) afternoon upper 40's|
|Columbia River Interstate 5 crossing between Washington and Oregon|