Friday, June 29, 2018

final lessons from my Camino, 15 years later


It’s official.

As the month of June comes to an end, it marks 15 years since my dear friend Pat Stankus and I marched into the city of Santiago de Compostela—culminating our pilgrimage across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago.

In my Camino journal, I made a list titled, "things I have learned this final week."

But really, they are lessons from the Camino:

  • ·      a country church bell can be rung softly or loudly. I did both!
  • ·      all of creation is an open book (St. Benedict), symbolically expressing—and portraying, the sacred
  • ·      There is always shit on the path
  • ·      Old or new, shit always stinks
·      at least for this pilgrimage, I was not meant to walk in boots, but in sandals
  • ·      people in Spanish churches sing loudly, even at daily Mass
  • ·      my grace is sufficient for you
  • ·      eucalyptus leaves are a piece of heaven—and nothing like the ones you find at Michael’s
  • ·      sheep don’t like to be sheared
  • ·      I can still sing the lyrics to songs I learned in my childhood and have not sung since then
  • ·      The butterflies and wildflowers play silent music with their colors. Remember!
  • ·      I love Spanish food
  • ·      I love Spanish wine
  • ·      I may never fully understand why I did this
  • ·      Bidden or not bidden. God is present
  • ·      Every pilgrim will go home describing a different Camino.
  • ·      Threading your blisters with a needle & thread and betadine really does work
  • ·      You can get blisters on top of blisters
  • ·      Creation’s beauty does not cost or weigh anything
  • ·      Your heart sees and recognizes joy (as well as sin) simply through presence
  • ·      I doubted the guidebook. But, yes, cheese can be shaped to look like a breast with a nipple
  • ·      I love Spanish cheese
  • ·      Yo soy el Camino 

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