Saturday, November 06, 2010


I think we have our final group of people for the May/June amaWalkers Camino walk. 
As I typed out the list of names to file in my amaWalkers Camino folder, I thought about them all, about how special every one of these people are.  They are not just names of people who want to walk the camino, and who don't want to walk it alone, they are people who feel called to walk a camino (one for a second time).  And what a privelege to be walking with Pam - an old soul who loves the Camino as much as I do and wants to share her passion with others.

Some of our group have been dreaming about walking a Camino for years.  One dear lady has been to all of my Camino workshops and St James' feast day celebrations since they started in 2003.  When she put her name down for the amaWalkers Camino walk she said, 'This is my chance.  If I don't walk it with you, on this walk, I'll probably never walk it." She is still nervous, unsure, anxious.  But she has booked her air tickets and she and I agree that this is her time.  I feel priveleged to be the one she has chosen to walk with. 
Another lady wanted to walk with me last year but lack of finances and committment to her son prevented her from doing so.  She was diappointed, and when she heard about this walk, she was the first person to put her name down.  Although she is nervous about being on her own, she is planning on walking solo to Finisterre when we all leave Santiago.
Some of our group will be walking in gratitude for the recovery from illness, another to heal from the loss of a loved one, or to contemplate a new era in their life as one chapter closes and another must open, or to recharge batteries run down by a demanding career or families. 

I will be doing all the planning for the three sections we will walk, booking the accommodation, arranging for transport where necessary. I wonder how else I can serve them so that they have the most wonderful Camino possible?  Perhaps it's best to just let them have their space; time for reflection and contemplation; to allow the healing spirit of the earth they'll walk on, the plants, rocks, birds, animals they'll walk with, work through them.  Perhaps I'll send them this ancient, Hasidic prayer:
“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure, then from all the stones and all growing things, and all the animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you and become a holy fire in you."

This is going to be a very different Camino for me.  The first three were 'for me'.  The walk on the Via francigena was also 'for me'. I often say that I need to 'go walk-about' every now and then to restore my soul.  Last year, I walked the Aragones, Ingles and Fistera routes 'for me' - but serving as a hospitalera near Finisterre for two weeks showed me another side to the Camino.  It was no longer about me.  It was all about those dear souls 'reaching the misty land of the Dark Star' at world's end, wondering what they were going to do when there were no more yellow arrows to guide them.

This time it will be all about caring for, and caring about, 13 other people, rather than all about me.  Walking a Camino is so special, can be such fun, heartwarming, deeply spiritual and life-changing, and that is what I want for our pilgrims.  So, I'll share this Buddhist prayer with our group: 
"May we know that it is the journey that is important. May we find our own truths and the divine within ourselves and in doing so help our fellow travelers to find their own. May we see each other through spirit and not through worldly eyes. Namaste"


  1. Dear Sil

    How lucky this group is to have you as a leader. What you wrote here shows the person you are and it sounds as if you've attracted a group of people to you that have the same qualities.

    I'll be following your journey all the way and wish you the very best with all the planning. May you all have a truly blessed camino!

  2. Thank you Emilene - what a nice thing to say!

  3. So looking forward to watching your Camino walk unfold. I think this post shows so well, why some need to walk it in a group. Thank you for making this dream come true for these pilgrims. It's going to be a very different, and very special journey.

    Buen Camino all, Karin

  4. Hi Sil,

    I am now reading through this site to find how your experience as a hospitalera went.

    I am perplexed as to why you have the Cho-Ku-Rei on the site, are you a Reiki practitioner?

    You and the folks should have a wonderful journey next year but what a lot of organizing it will be for you. I will be following if I am not traveling myself.