How To Keep The Camino With You After Leaving It

Sitting in Fisterra on the 61st day of My Camino. Enjoying the quiet and appreciating the chance to rest my weary body for the first time in 31 days since St. Jean Pied-de-Port. Awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic feeling the same sense of awe that the ancient pilgrims must of felt when they reached “the end of the world”.

In the 60 days walking 1630 kilometers from Le Puy I have learned to appreciate the most simple things; a bed with real cotton sheets and a cover sheet and or a towel being luxurious. A smile from a stranger, a “Buen Camino”, a cup of hot tea after an hour or two of walking in the early morning. Starting out in the early morning when the stars were still out especially when the Milky Way was in sight. The dark sky fading into deep blue, fiery red and orange and then the warm bright yellow of the sun. A cold drink after a 30k + walk on a hot day. A hearty 3 course peregrino meal at night with vino tinto. A bed that doesn’t squeak and snorers that are not so loud they can be heard over one’s earplugs. An unexpected hug.

What I will miss most of all is the camaraderie. The way peregrinos skip small talk and get almost immediately into your essence of being. At night the sharing of our aches and pains, the stories of our families, travels, and our past and future Caminos.The fun and laughter shared over our nightly meals. Seeing an “old” Camino friend 10K from Santiago after losing them 900K back in France.

As the Camino is winding down and many friends have left for home or about to we struggle with how to keep our Camino’s going. The hardest part of The Camino is leaving it for those of us who have fallen in love with it. I know I will be back but I choose to keep it with me. Along the 1630 kilometers I started with a single stone and have been placing it on crosses and cairns a few times each day. I leave one stone and take another thus transferring my positive thoughts across the length of the Camino. My ritual is to say my prayers and it started with people with Addiction problems and people with Sjogren’s Syndrome and other anti autoimmune diseases and my family. However as you walk the Camino you hear inspiring stories. If you have been reading my blog you will understand that my prayers keep expanding to people with MS, cancer, Crohn’s, parents that have lost a child, children that lose a parent, AIDS. This is causing me to become more compassionate, more humble and helping me to ignore my ego.

So, I am at the End of the World in Finisterre and was planning to throw the last stone into the sea after my final prayer. No. I will keep the stone and each day I am away from The Camino I will place my hand on the stone and say my ever expanding prayers. In this way I will never leave The Camino. This is MY Camino.

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8 thoughts on “How To Keep The Camino With You After Leaving It”

  1. Thank you for this insight into the effects of the Camino. Much food for thought. I’m walking Podiensis from 13 Sept next year and I already give thought to how I will be affected. I am so excited about the prospects of self discovery and being able to simply surrender to my environment and whatever my Creator has in store for me. Blessings to you and yours.

  2. Annie Métay-Lebrun

    Oh very nice the photo and wonderful your letter, yes the “Camino” can be each day.

    Thanks and have a good camino today,
    Annie

  3. Thanks for the wonderful recap of your journey! We are very proud to call you our friend.
    Bob and Kim LaDeur

  4. Your thoughts are beautiful!! So are your photos. Getting to know you was a wonderful experience and I agree that the camaraderie among pilgrims was a highlight of the adventure. Buen Camino friend ?

  5. Lynda J. Turk

    I’ve walked 2 caminos. Frances and Lisbon. I can’t even after 5 years get them out of my system. They have changed me completely as a person. When my husband is in better health I will walk again.

Happy to answer any questions and help in any way.