All Souls Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago share insight and reflection from the first four days on the trail. Members of the group traveled from California, Paris, Portugal and Oklahoma. They all met in Madrid before heading to the enchanting village, O’Cebreiro, where they began their journey following yellow arrows to lead them on their way.
Each day, pilgrims focus on a theme, share in a reading based on the theme before heading off. At the end of the day, Pilgrims are encouraged to ask themselves questions to reflect on the day’s journey.
“I decided to walk the Camino de Santiago to challenge myself spiritually and physically. My goal was to be more mindful of the world around me and to practice gratitude. I have found that the practice of gratitude, in and of itself, increases my happiness. Northern Spain has breathtaking views, millions of flowers, incredible old stone houses and outbuildings, lovely walking paths for the pilgrims, crystal clear creeks, rolling hills and soaring birds. It also has lots of people walking, each on their own journey, finding their own path. We are all making the journey from village to village, as part of a larger world community and part of this smaller Pilgrim’s journey. I am so grateful I got to be part of this Journey across Northern Spain.” – Nancy Coryell, All Souls Pilgrim
The Practice of Paying Attention
Day 1: 13 Miles
Nancy – Rain, flowers, cows, fog, flowers, views, purple boots, rocks, vistas, green rain, amazing flowers, sore feet.
Anitra – Gazing at the beautiful views all around us we walked. After 13 miles we’re all pooped but happy!
“The Miracle is not to walk on water but to walk on Earth.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Gratitude and Blessings
Day 2: 18.05 miles
Nancy – More rain, streams, flowers, mud, rocks, fairies, rain water, green clouds, sounds of nature, flowers, red
paths, wonder, boots, stream sounds, waterfalls
Barbara – The Camino is no joke. It is a test of stamina and faith.
Anitra – On and off rain, misty and muddy. The muscles in my legs are wondering what in the world I’m doing! The scenery is magical, but the walk is challenging!
“Breathing deeply in gratitude of this day and my great fortune to be where I am.” – From the Camino Journal of Judy Leaver
Strangers and Hospitality
Day 3: 14.75 miles
Nancy – Sunny day, doors, rocks, gates, flowers, chacos, paths, pilgrims, trees, blue, steep, feet, road,
Barbara – Deep in conversation with my fellow pilgrim Carla Prehn Clark today, talking theology, we missed a turn. Carla saw the yellow arrow before we went too far in the wrong direction. Another time, a fellow pilgrim called out and got our attention, “The Camino is THIS way!” I didn’t take many photos today. But I did rely on the kindness of friends and strangers.
Anitra – Misty, muddy, magical walk today from Traicastela to Sarria. My legs are screaming but my soul is singing!
“The stranger next door, and at our door, is particularly frightening … people have been hurt by strangers—when we speak of the depth of hospitality, we are proposing something scary and radical. But it’s worth the risk. Unless we find a way to open ourselves to others, we will grow even more isolated and frightened. If we do not find and practice ways of hospitality, we will grow increasingly hostile. Hospitality is the answer to hostility.” – Benedict’s Way of Love by Holland and Pratt
Silence and Emptiness
Day 4: 16.5 miles
Sun, silence, solo, me
Sky, be here now, clouds, tears
Lush, Opera, cows, cheese, fairies, feet, pilgrims
Forest, singing, enchanted, boots, hills, rocks, me
Green meadows, tunnels, laughter, feet, mussels, journey, full, path, buen camino
Barbara – Silence was surrendered today …. for good reasons. For example, Bob Deveraux is 92 years-old and has more pep in his step than most pilgrims. His powerful, positive energy pours out from his mind and his heart. A lifelong Catholic, he is touching the hearts of every pilgrim he passes.
“Today like every day we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” – Rumi
Rev. Barbara Prose and Anitra Lavanhar will share more from their Camino experience as they reach their destinations each night. Come back to beyondbelief.online to read more as their journey continues.
Read more from fellow pilgrim Roni Jackons-Kerr in her post, 10 things I learned on the Camino.
Photos courtesy of Anitra Lavanhar and Barbara Prose.