We are here in Paris recovering from all night flights and a 12 hour time change. Wow! We made it! Yesturday was our first real day walking this gorgeous City where sidewalks are full of people, brasseries (cafes) spill onto sidewalks with tables and chairs that the pedestrian has to walk around, lots of electric bicycles, and of course there is a fantastic underground. Technically this city is fairly easy to navigate however, I am experiencing the learning curve, grateful for maps to get around these narrow winding streets. So much fun!
So….. our first “real hour” in Paris walking along the River Rhine, On our way towards the Eiffel Tower when two young men begin hassling us in a different language. They were Persistent and moving into our body space. One man tried to reach in my purse. I blocked him & said something like no way! He promptly gave up on me. Meanwhile the other young man reached in Daisy’s pocket and took her phone. Daisy grabbed her phone right out of his hands and said give me my phone! The kid left running. Yeah Daisy! She has some tough wits about her! Not a fun experience but I pointed out to my shaking daughter that really that was a fantastic learning curve! First, nothing was lost and we are safe. Second, daisy got to see how she responded in a tough situation and knows what to do now and third, we are more vigilant. So perhaps we are lucky for the experience.
Lastly- I’m having a learning curve with blogging on the iPad while accessing free wifi. Lots of technical difficulties. Xoxo
Our shoes before 580 miles
- Definition from Websters:
Pilgrimage (noun). A traveler, especially one who journeys to visit a holy place, as an act of devotion; a wonderer (verb) to wonder like a pilgrim – pil’grimage (noun) journey to a holy place; the journey of life.
Daisy and I are going on a journey. Our plan: To walk across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. We will live on a careful budget, stay in pilgrim hostels and walk, walk, walk, carrying a pack thoughtfully packed with as little equipment necessary. This 796.0 km or 494.6 miles of walking to Santiago Spain (and another 80 miles to the ocean) is my gift to Daisy. She is 12 years old, strong, courageous, thoughtful, and ready to try out her walking legs, embrace the Spanish culture, sleep in simple settings with many people who are also walking a pilgrim journey to Santiago.
My hopes are for the power of discernment. To wisely navigate for safety and health and embrace all that is before us both seen and unseen as part of the wild and fantastic nature of this pilgrim adventure, and have amazing experiences beyond our possible dreams or imaginations. I have a rough sketched out plan meant to be broken in the event of saying yes to that which is more than the plan, while holding a strong intention for walking to Santiago and on to Fisterra, a place known as the end of the world.
Daisy and I really are walking across Spain. We begin in St. Jean Pied de Port France, walk over a mountain pass in the pyreneese and into Spain. We then traverse across Northern Spain through towns cities roads and rural landscapes to the Ocean. Though many people begin this journey, over a 150,000 walkers a year, does not mean every one makes it. For me, this raises the notion and meaning of a pilgrimage, which is after all, the name of this journey: the Camino de Santiago. Daisy and I will be modern day pilgrims on an ancient pilgrim path.
I understand the dictionary definition of a pilgrimage, but how does that definition really play itself in real life journeying while negotiating both modernity, travel adventure/vacation and recognition that faith and spirituality has many meanings? We travel a Christian pilgrim route and stay in pilgrim dorms I believe supported by the Christian Church. Yet this trail is much older than Christianity. In effect we are traveling a pilgrim route created by many people’s of many cultural and spiritual backgrounds who used this path in many ways.
What is important to me is that the land memory (the vibrational memory in the land) that surrounds this trail has claimed itself as a pilgrimage through thousands of years of use. In fact, The Camino de Santiago is growing. The old routes across Europe are being remembered and reestablished. More people are being called to walk these trails. Perhaps because they are well organized and there is value in a long adventurous walk. I also think that what is really calling us is the power of our spirits listening to the call of the land and the places that hold strong memory. places like this need us and we need them to remember our own internal or should I say nonverbal journeys that require faith in something greater.
Perhaps a pilgrimage is a tool to navigate our prayers through our bodies literally while staying fully present to life. Or perhaps a pilgrimage is a place where we can just walk off the stresses of modernity. Whatever a pilgrimage might be, We must stay in the present or we can get hurt or sick or to tired to continue.
I am full of lots of hope of making this journey, but really I do not know what to expect.