Monthly Archives: May 2015

Lectio Camino: “Re-Camino” Week 3

Jed and I walked the Camino de Santiago last year. We walked out of St. Jean Pied de Port in southern France on May 6, 2014, and walked into Santiago de Compostela on June 11, 500 miles down the road. I’m revisiting my journal and the photos that we took on our Camino — a variation of Lectio Divina that I’m calling Lectio Camino.

Here are some images from my 2015 “Re-Camino Journal,” Week Three.

El Hospital del Alma, Castrojeriz, Spain  May 21, 2014

El Hospital del Alma, Castrojeriz, Spain May 21, 2014

Another rainy Meseta day  May 22, 2014

Another rainy Meseta day   May 22, 2014

 

 

May 24, 2014

May 24, 2014

Poppies on the Meseta  May 20, 2014

Poppies on the Meseta May 20, 2014

The Way is Made by Walking: “Re-Camino” Week 2

The Way is made by walking.

The Way is made by walking. La Rioja, Spain. 14 May 2014

“Wanderer, there is no way. The way is made by walking.”

I find these words, a translation of a line from Spanish poet Antonio Machado’s “Caminante no hay Camino,” both frightening and comforting.

On the Camino we didn’t really “make the way by walking.” We walked an established, usually clearly marked, often paved path. We had a clear destination (Santiago de Compostella) and plenty of maps, and if we got lost there were muchas people to ask for directions. If we got tired or stranded, we could take a bus, a taxi, or a train to a town closer to our goal or even all the way to Santiago if necessary.

Out here in the “real world,” however, I find that “making the way by walking” is totally helpful and completely how things work. When I wait for certainty before trying something, I will wait and wait. “Making the way by walking” gives me a way to tolerate the ambiguity of not knowing how something will turn out before I start. Making the way by walking helps me to take the first step that I AM fairly certain about, then the next one, and then the next one after that. I think I know where I’m going, but it’s entirely possible that I will end up somewhere completely different than I intended when I began.

The Camino taught me to trust my heart, and that the Way was there for the finding when I took the first step in trust.

We’re all on a journey, whether we know it, admit it, and accept it, or not. Here’s my prayer for pilgrims and wanderers, walkers and wayfarers.

Holy One,

You’re the God of a wandering pilgrim people – Adam and Eve, Jacob, Abraham and Sarah, Moses and the Israelites in the desert, Babylonian exiles, Jonah and Elijah, Ruth and Naomi, Mary and Joseph, Peter and Paul and Thecla – all wanderers. All pilgrims on holy journeys.

We bear the name of a wandering itinerant preacher, a man who began wandering in the womb, whose first act of intentional ministry was to flee to the desert for forty days, who referred to himself as “the Way.”

Help me to remember that the Way is made by walking. That any certainty I may have about an outcome is both illusion and delusion. That my job is simply to take the first step. Then the next one. And then the one after that.

Help me to remember that to reach new places I must follow new roads. That faithfulness to your invitation to grow requires change. That when I respond to your call to be who I am in You, to live my life in You, I will be taken to places I do not expect. That true rest will only be found in Divine Upwelling You, and that the only stability I will ever know is floating in the River of You – always moving and growing and changing. And that all actions and choices that I make faithfully are good, despite appearances to the contrary.

Help me to trust that I have all I need for this journey.

Help me to commit whole-heartedly to this road, and always to be thankful for its gifts – each moment, each breath, each step.

Amen.

(This is the second of a series of blogs reflecting on my 37-day walk along the Camino de Santiago from May 6 to June 11, 2014. You can find the first post here, and my husband’s blog here.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commit to Beginning – “Re-Camino” Week 1

On the Way to Cirauqui, 11 May 2014

On the Way to Cirauqui, 11 May 2014

Beginnings.

One year ago today my husband Jed and I were on Day Seven of our Camino, the Way from southern France to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. We walked 500 miles in 37 days, so we were just beginning our journey. (You can read more about the Camino here, and follow Jed’s blog here.) By twilight of May 12, 2014, we were in Los Arcos, Navarra, having walked about 70 miles total. (Only 430 miles to go!)

We met people from many different countries on the Camino. We met Irish, Koreans, South Africans, Dutch, Danes, Germans, French, Canadians, Brazilians, Mexicans, Portuguese, Americans, and more. One of the first questions we’d ask each other was “So…  Why are you walking?”

Many people were on the road because they felt called to be there and had wanted to walk for years. Some had a few weeks to spare before their summer university program started and thought the Camino was a good way to experience Spain ahead of time. We met newly-retired professors, teachers and clergy on sabbatical, dating couples, dot.com millionaires on a quest for the next thing. Some pilgrims were walking to raise money for charities. Some were walking in the place of friends who weren’t able to because of illness or death. Three women from Texas were walking in memory of their children who had been murdered. They had met in a support group, and the Camino was part of their healing journey for reasons they found impossible to articulate. As many reasons to walk as pilgrims, probably.

I was there because my husband wanted to walk, and he wanted me to go with him. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I said, “Sure.”

Beginnings of journeys are like that. Sometimes we’re called to a new adventure. Sometimes we’re forced onto the Road against our will. Sometimes we’re just along for the ride.

We can walk our ways without committing to them, for sure. It’s possible to exist in that nebulous no-place, one foot in and one foot out, for years, even an entire lifetime. But not committing is exhausting and sterile. Far better to commit to following a call, to commit to reaching the end of a journey that’s forced upon us, to commit to growing up and taking responsibility for our choices. Julia Cameron says, “Saints commit.” Commitment makes all the difference. 

In every adult journey there comes a time of commitment. Maybe that moment comes before we set foot outside our door, when we say “yes” to the road’s call. If we’re on the way against our will, the moment comes when we choose to embrace reality and walk our road whole-heartedly. And if we’re just along for the ride, there comes a moment when we either commit to the journey or decide to bail. Fish or cut bait.

And the road turns out to be rich beyond our wildest imaginings.

We must commit to receive the gifts of our journeys.

Here’s a prayer for every day, but especially for beginning a journey:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you remember the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
– attributed to St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Theresa of Avila

Godspeed!

 

The Camino One Year Later

Seattle Airport May 1, 2014

Seattle Airport May 1, 2014

One year ago today I was sitting in the Seattle airport on my way to Spain, where Jed and I walked the Camino de Santiago. Camino conventional wisdom says it generally takes six months to integrate the journey.

I’m nowhere near done processing.

In this space, for the next seven weeks, I will be intentionally remembering my Camino. I don’t have a real clear idea of what that will look like. I’m planning to post short daily blogs starting on May 6th, the first anniversary of the day we stepped out from our French hotel into the dawn and headed over the Pyrenees. You may see poetry, art, photographs, journal excerpts, or maybe something else I don’t have any idea of at this moment.

That’s how the Camino worked. That’s how I think God works. What I thought would happen is not what happened.  What I thought I needed is not what I got. I took the next step. And the next.

And it was all deeply good.

Journal entry from May 1, 2014 in Sea-Tac:

Oprah quote on Starbucks sleeve:

“Live from the heart of yourself. Seek to be whole, not perfect.”

(An aside: Evidently not everyone liked Oprah on their Starbucks sleeves. I wish someone else had said this, someone that was universally admired, but there it is.)

Today: Living from the heart of myself takes trust. I’m working on trusting my heart, God, and other people. I’m learning to trust myself. One way I’m learning to trust my heart is through drawing mandalas. (I was inspired by an Abbey of the Arts Easter discipline, and I watched How to Grow a Mandala.) Here’s what my heart creates when I listen and follow directions. I honestly don’t know where that came from – my heart told my hand what to do. I trusted. And this happened. I’m learning!

"Wild" Mandala

“Wild” Mandala