The day is finally here…headed to Spain and the Camino!

I can’t believe the day is finally here…I am headed off to Spain to walk the Camino!

I say finally but time really has flown by. It has been the summer of a lifetime, with attending my daughter Natalie’s college graduation, traveling to see baseball games with my son Jake, helping my son Josh with his Eagle Scout project, talking with my oldest son Nick about work and life, and just spending wonderful time with my wife, Jill, the summer has been full and happy and tiring all at the same time. And now the trip I have longed for and planned for is finally here…I am actually going to walk the Camino de Santiago!

Despite weather forecasts that include quite a bit of rain, I have decided to stay with my plans to walk the mountainous Camino Primitivo, or the Original Way. Although I mentioned it in my first post, I think this route is outlined quite nicely in this article in Travel Magazine. The photos of the country I will be traversing look breathtaking…just Google ‘Camino Primitivo’ and look at images. Wow.

I have been talking about this journey for awhile now and have received many wonderful trip suggestions, kind thoughts, and offers to pray, and I am thankful for all of them. Just today, in a lovely note from my mother-in-law she said (among other things), “have a good trip, fruitful and memorable. Safe passage and good health. I wonder how you will change when you get back?” What a great question! I also wonder how I will be different when I get back. Will I perceive this life I am currently living in the same way, or will I see a different way of living that is simpler, gentler, kinder? I will have so much time to think about my life…from childhood to present, and wonder what is next. I have recently listened to a couple of podcasts on what the second half of life is all about and how to think about “the next mountain.” These podcasts have me in the perfect mindset to think about what’s next while on the Camino. Here are two that I thought were particularly relevant for me:

Father Wounds, Male Spirituality, and the Journey to the Second Half of Life

As Father Rohr states in his ‘Father Wounds’ podcast:

“Karl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, who said there are two major tasks of life. The first is, as he put it, where you create your container. I call that your identity, your persona, your self-image. Probably it amounts to your education, your family situation if you become a husband or a father, or whatever it is. But that’s only your delivery system.  And in non-wisdom cultures, and I’m afraid we are a non-wisdom culture, the task of the first half of life becomes the only task. It’s succeeding, climbing, naming oneself as successful. And most don’t know that there’s a second task.

“If the first half of life is building the container, the second half of life is finding the contents that the container was meant to hold. What is my education for? What is my self-image, my money, my reputation for? What was I born to do?

“The task of the first half of life is called your survival dance, and he calls the task of the second half of life your sacred dance. We both experience, after years of working with men, that a rather high percentage in a secular culture like ours never get to their sacred dance, because they just keep doing the task of the first half of life over and over and over again…”

This is exactly where I am in my life…exploring, discovering, learning about what the second half of life is for me, and to keep from just repeating the first task over and over again. This, I think, is the real purpose of my Camino.

Well, they are calling my name over the loudspeaker so it is time to go. The next time I write to you it will be from Madrid. Peace and love to you all.

Buen Camino,

Brian

Walking the Camino de Santiago

Hello Everyone!

It is August 13th and in a short 15 days, I will be leaving for Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago, or “The Way of Saint James,” the patron saint of Spain. The Way, as it is known, is a pilgrimage to visit the remains of St. James the Apostle in the medieval town of Santiago de Compostela. While there are *many* routes for pilgrims to take, below is the route I will be following — it’s called the Camino Primitivo or the Original Way:

Camino Primitivo Route Map

Many people find the path to Santiago de Compostela is a spiritual one, finding meaning in the solitude of the mountains, in the fellowship of other pilgrims, or just in the physical exertion of walking 15–16 miles per day for 15–35 days with a pack on their back. In my case, it is all three, with my personal spiritual growth at the core. Exploring new things and hopefully finding new eyes…

I promise to write more about the trip later as I need now on a quick 12-mile “practice” hike as part of my Camino training regimen…and it’s 91 degrees outside! 😦

Buen Camino!

Brian

Hiking in Rancho San Antonio

Exploring, discovering and learning about the world