I finally have a serious purpose to apply to this blogging business. Hopefully it will help me to keep on track and religiously keep this blog up to date. My husband has kindly consented to support me in realizing a long time dream. That is to walk the Camino, the thousand-year-old pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. My plan is to take the next seven months or so to get in shape to make the 500 mile journey across northern Spain from St. Jean Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. I hope to begin in mid-April of 2010 and take a biblical 40 days to accomplish the feat (or rather "feet" since those darlings are going to be what gets me there.) You have but to type in the word "Camino" on any search engine to find out what I am about to do. Literally hundreds of thousands of people will be making this trek next year, a holy year on the Way of St. James, since in 2010 the feast of St. James will fall on a Sunday. I am so overjoyed and overwhelmed with the idea of really doing this, that I secretly think about it all the time, while pretending to go about my normal everyday activities.
I've purchase my hiking shoes, North Face boots from Zappos (at 50% discount on top of Zappos' everyday discount, Woohoo!) and have done some preliminary walks: Buttermilk Falls, Brandenburg, 4 miles; around Freeman Lake, Elizabethtown, about 5 miles; Saunders Springs, Radcliff, an hour's worth of down and up. My MP3 player froze up on my walk around Freeman Lake. I didn't have a paperclip to poke in the little hole to unfreeze it, so accomplished most of the walk without it. I think this was a good thing, as I had to walk in silence, which is , perhaps, the correct way to walk a pilgrimage!
My goal is to walk one or two hours three times a week with a longer trek, maybe three or four hours, on the weekends until January. Then I need to crank it up a bit to prepare for 12 to 15 miles a day, the normal distance that pilgrims walk on the camino. That is no big deal, the 12-15 miles part. The hard part is doing it day after day for forty days.
I have also been researching to find the lightest clothing and equipment to carry on my back. Now you may think it is impossible, but it is my goal to have no more than 15 pounds of clothing, toiletries, first aid and sleeping bag to carry with me. I know it is possible, because my hero, Peace Pilgrim, survived many treks across our country with only a comb and a pen in her pocket, and faith in God and the kindness of strangers. I don't want to burden strangers quite so much, but I do hope that I can simplify my needs and trust that God will provide as He always has so generously!
I covet the prayers of my friends and family in this endeavour. I make this journey for spiritual growth. The more I surrender to God and allow Him to direct my path, the more I will be blessed. This I believe. Out of the nest you go, dear heart! Fly, Pilgrim, fly!