A Blessing: Camino de Santiago, Spain, May 2022

My beloved,

I have a deep reverence for the synchronicities that aligned in my life and directed me to my spiritual pilgrimage in 2022. My pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela came about for several reasons. I had known about the Camino for decades, and had researched it many times over the years, I had roughly planned it in my head, and this would finally be the year I did it! This also give me the opportunity to visit a cherished friend who lives in Spain. It became especially meaningful because the start of my journey fell on my late father’s birthday, May 23rd, also and significantly, this year is celebrated as Camino Holy Year 2022, and this year is very symbolic to me personally. If you are not familiar with the Santiago de Camino, I have posted its history further below.

The 2021 Holy Year celebrations were extended throughout 2022 to allow for a greater recovery from the pandemic. A Holy Year or Ano Xacobeo only occurs 14 times in a century, and the last Ano Xacobeo was in 2010, so it was a unique experience to be walking this year with so many fellow travellers.

I discovered that the city of Santiago de Compostela is named after the apostle, which means St James of the Field of Stars. Coincidentally, or not?, my father, brother, and son all have James as their middle name, and I have a true affinity and connection to the cosmos, I mean who doesn’t? We are made of star dust after all.

Life is a long pilgrimage from fear to love.

paulo coehlo

I will be sharing my experience from each day of my pilgrimage. I am and will forever be blessed by walking the Camino de Santiago. I trusted my heart, and blessings and protection were shown to me. I recognized omens, received signs, and met beautiful people each day of my walk. There is such beauty and peace in the silence of walking alone … alone together. It is a meditation in commune with nature.

We are all pilgrims in search of the unknown.

paulo coehlo

Life truly is an adventure if you are ready and open to the possibilities of the unknown, and the Universe truly rewards you in kind. Adventure brings to mind three J.R.R. Tolkien quotes I’d like to share:

Little by little, one travels far.

Home is behind, the world ahead.

The world is not in your books and maps, it is out there.

J.R.R. tolkien

I read a blessing to myself the night before I began my pilgrimage.

I leave you with this blessing, and a history of the Camino. If you are contemplating your own pilgrimage, adventure awaits on the other side of fear my friend. Safe travels. Buen Camino!

All the love,
Melissa x

For The Traveler

Every time you leave home,

Another road takes you

Into a world you were never in.

 

New strangers on other paths await.

New places that have never seen you

Will startle a little at your entry.

Old places that know you well

Will pretend nothing

Changed since your last visit.

 

When you travel, you find yourself

Alone in a different way,

More attentive now

To the self you bring along,

Your more subtle eye watching

You abroad; and how what meets you

Touches that part of the heart

That lies low at home:

 

How you unexpectedly attune

To the timbre in some voice,

Opening in conversation

You want to take in

To where your longing

Has pressed hard enough

Inward, on some unsaid dark,

To create a crystal of insight

You could not have known

You needed

To illuminate

Your way.

 

When you travel,

A new silence

Goes with you,

And if you listen,

You will hear

What your heart would

Love to say.

 

A journey can become a sacred thing:

Make sure, before you go,

To take the time

To bless your going forth,

To free your heart of ballast

So that the compass of your soul

Might direct you toward

The territories of spirit

Where you will discover

More of your hidden life,

And the urgencies

That deserve to claim you.

 

May you travel in an awakened way,

Gathered wisely into your inner ground;

That you may not waste the invitations

Which wait along the way to transform you.

 

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,

And live your time away to its fullest;

Return home more enriched, and free

To balance the gift of days which call you.

John o’donohue

History of the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago (Latin: Peregrinatio Compostellana, “Pilgrimage of Compostela”; Galician: O Camiño de Santiago), known in English as the Way of St James, is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition holds that the remains of the apostle are buried.

As Pope Benedict XVI said, “It is a way sown with so many demonstrations of fervour, repentance, hospitality, art and culture which speak to us eloquently of the spiritual roots of the Old Continent.” Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth.

Created and established after the discovery of the relics of James of Zebedee at the beginning of the 9th century, the Way of St James became a major pilgrimage route of medieval Christianity from the 10th century onwards. But it was only after the capture of Granada in 1492, under the reign of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, that Pope Alexander VI officially declared the Camino de Santiago to be one of the “three great pilgrimages of Christendom”, along with Jerusalem and Rome.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Never give up.
When your heart becomes tired,
just walk with your legs but move on.

paulo coehlo

A day of silence can be a pilgrimage in itself.

Hafiz

heart