This evening I went to a lecture about El Camino – Santiago De Compostela by a member of the United Theological College here in Montreal. I have to say that I have been interested in this topic for some time. I have had friends walk part of the journey and bring me back mementos from their journeys.
Our guide began his journey in St. Jean Pied De Port
On the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains climbing Westwards over the mountains into Spain. This is a six week journey, about 40 to 45 days.
St. Jean Pied De Port. This quite an exhaustive journey and many make the pilgrimage for many reasons. I have often thought in the past to make this journey. I spoke to our host this evening about making the journey being HIV positive. He said if my doctor would clear me to make the journey, that he didn’t see why I could not do it. He also told us that there might be a group returning to Compostela in 2009, and I would have to be not only physically prepared, but mentally and spiritually prepared as well.
He had a preparatory plan in his mind which he shared with us, the few that were there and were honestly interested in finding out more about this pilgrimage. He spoke about this pilgrimage as a journey. Every ounce you carry – may keep you from making it to the end. Leaving every comfort of home behind and not carrying what you don’t have to is crucial. Every day you walk, as the sun rises. I cannot recall everything he said verbatim, but the thoughts come to me as this: If you can live with very little, carrying only that which you need, and if you can make the journey with no expectations, and if you can make the journey “not knowing everything” you could complete the pilgrimage.
He told us about people he met on his journey and some of the issues that they were dealing with, to give us insight to how it went for him. Ms. New Jersey who carried a suitcase on her back, and had to jettison items as she walked because they were holding her back. Those who were not prepared for the sacrifice of the journey and those who had serious medical issues along the way.
I know that there is a journey still left in me, I just don’t know which one it will be. But this is now, several times I have crossed paths with Compostela. This is where I begin to pray for discernment. I know that I want to make a pilgrimage because I feel for me, religiously and spiritually, that I am meant to make one pilgrimage that I will pray to find my way into.
I know that hubby would never make this journey with me. He told me on the way out that he was (Patsy) of Edina and Patsy. That he would ride along side in a car eating bon bons and cheering me on. He is not inclined to make a spiritual pilgrimage because he is not as “spiritual” in that sense as I am. But he’d support me going. So this is where I put it out there and ask you to pray for me and maybe someone out there would decide to walk with me as well…
Where there’s a will – there’s a way…