Let’s spend a couple paragraphs, ‘Sharing The Camino’, literally.
No explanation is required for fellow Pilgrims of ‘The Camino de Santiago de Compostela’, and, no explanation will suffice for the uninitiated. ‘Sharing The Way’, through Life, is the perpetual Gift of an authentic Pilgrimage upon ‘The Way of St. James’. Yet, we fail in our efforts to humbly communicate, educate, or, illustrate our experience.
My Wife, ‘Lynda’, and I back-packed portions of ‘The Camino’ in 2016 and 2018, in France and Spain. We’ve completed 250 miles to date. Later this year, we intend to trek more, in Germany, and hopefully portions, in Poland and Austria. Next year, in 2020, we’ve scheduled a 62 day, 500 mile ‘Camino’ challenge. One may ask ‘why’. We wonder about that ourselves. The more pertinent question, actually, is ‘who’? I could spend a hundred pages telling you ‘WHO’ we met.
In 2016, after a couple days on ‘The Way’, we were ready to quit, due to ‘combination of factors’. During a brief break, to make our decision to end it, at a wayside table, a young Lady, with a friendly German lilted accent, informed us that we had ‘certainly found a lovely spot’ to enjoy. ‘Uli’ & her Mother, ‘Mimoke’, introduced themselves as ‘The Flower Pilgrims’, from Bavaria, and, said they stopped to enjoy the flowers at every possible opportunity. Sage wisdom, and food for thought, at the time. It was motivation enough to continue and finish. Long story short, we may have missed a few floral opportunities along our ‘Journey’, but we remain dear personal Friends with them to this day, and, in fact, will attend ‘Uli’s Wedding’ in July.
Consider ‘Merck’. A strong, sturdy 60-something Certified Physical Therapist, from Poland; he materialized out of nowhere one day, and began generously administering therapeutic massage skills to ‘everyone’. He was a Pro, and, he was a Saint! After beginning with my Wife’s knee, a line formed immediately. His English was no better than my Polish, but we ‘Shared’ a couple weeks of Mother Nature, Father Time, and mutual Spirit. My guess, he never leaves ‘The Camino’. ‘Service’ is his essence.
How about ‘Matsuro’? Perhaps a-typical, he was a lean athletic 6’4″; and, with, his warm smile and inviting manner, this tall, charming ‘Gentleman’, engendered fellowship and Community among all. After sharing an Albergue night with us, at daybreak, he used his Google Translate App to offer a ‘Hindu Blessing’ upon our health and our Journey. Amen.
So many others… ‘Annetta’ from Germany! Through humor, and aches & pains, and, a couple ‘sips’, her & my Lynda fell-in together and encouraged each other for several days. Finally, upon arriving in ‘Santiago de Compostela’, Annetta ‘confessed’, although she was not a person of ‘Faith’, this was ‘The Best Day Of Her Life’. Amen again.
‘Bobby from Boston’! An Angel! Perhaps our toughest day of all: logistics and other circumstances dictated Lynda & I ‘divide and conquer’. Thus, unwisely, we split-up for a while. Too long, really. About the time Lynda was becoming trail-weary, and/or frustrated with my absence. Bobby then appeared with confidence & strength, and, ‘Joyfully & Patiently’ escorted ‘My Girl’ all the way Home. I want to be Bobby when I grow up.
After several years of meticulously planning, saving, and anticipating, Lynnette and her pre-teens, Genvieve and Gage, were finally taking it ‘one step at a time’. We met them in Galicia. They were savoring every moment, like most of us, in the interior of their thoughts. They had much to think about. In a few days, they would return to Paris, France, with their precious keepsakes for Husband and Father, Charles. Their ‘Treasures’ would adorn his Grave site. Charles succumbed to a lengthy bout with cancer, three weeks before their ‘Family Camino’.
Guess who we ACTUALLY met on ‘The Way’. Buen Camino.