The International Women

Happy International Women’s Day! I woke up this morning to discover that it’s International Women’s Day, the day when we honor the movement for women’s rights around the world and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Of course, for me there’s no more noteworthy achievement than a pilgrimage. And no groupContinue reading “The International Women”

The Train That Is Me

I had this whole other blog post planned for this week. (Actually, I had it planned for last week, too…) But a few days ago my Camino friend Roy Howard posted this quote from Mark Nepo on his Instagram page, and every word of it just nailed me: “Like most people I know, I struggleContinue reading “The Train That Is Me”

Is There a New American Pilgrimage Trail?

A few years ago, if you’d asked me about pilgrimages, I would have had to dig back into history. The word pilgrimage seemed archaic, more appropriate for Chaucer than the twenty-first century, and carrying a backpack for days wasn’t my thing. After I fell in love with the Camino de Santiago, though, the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon*Continue reading “Is There a New American Pilgrimage Trail?”

Cows of the Camino

When our thousand-mile Camino trek ended, Eric and I took a train east, from Santiago to Irun. The hills of Galicia and then the plains of the Meseta sped by in a blur of landscapes without details. This was the only way I’d seen the world for years, I realized, from moving metal boxes thatContinue reading “Cows of the Camino”

7 Camino Gratitudes

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States, a time set aside for family and feasting, and hopefully a time to reflect on the gifts we’ve been given. In that spirit, I’ve been thinking about my Camino Gratitudes: the things I now appreciate (or appreciate more) because I have been a pilgrim to Santiago. InContinue reading “7 Camino Gratitudes”

3 Camino Mantras for 2017, Part 3: Choose Your Focus

  The walk from Castet to Romieu was 30 kilometers (18 miles), a distance we’d walked before, but longer than I ever wanted to do in a day. We’d looked at the maps, though, and talked to our friends on the trail, and decided that a longer walk day while the weather was good was theContinue reading “3 Camino Mantras for 2017, Part 3: Choose Your Focus”

3 Camino Mantras for 2017, Part 2: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose

I spent a lot of time last week trying to sort through how to make 2017 into a better year than 2016. Not having an election is obviously a good start, but I’m looking for things that are a little more personal. And my most meaningful, personal lessons came from the 79 days I spentContinue reading “3 Camino Mantras for 2017, Part 2: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose”

Three Camino Mantras to Carry into 2017, Part 1: Practice Acceptance

I tend to approach the world as if everything is negotiable, everything happens for good reasons, and the people who are kind and fair will be rewarded. We can probably blame four decades of reading novels with happy endings for that.

Meeting the Locals (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

There aren’t many (okay, any) wild animals on the Camino de Santiago, but there are plenty of (mostly) domestic ones. I think every dog in France came up to Eric wanting to play or be petted, and for a while the Camino turned into a veritable petting zoo:

Armistice Day

In the US, it’s Veteran’s Day. We honor everyone who’s served in the military In Europe, November 11 is a bit more specific. Armistice Day celebrates the anniversary of the 1918 end of the Great War, World War I, on 11/11, at 11 in the morning. To be honest, I’d never spent much time thinkingContinue reading “Armistice Day”