Saturday, 1 January 2011

The first step is always the hardest

Today I have begun a new adventure. I am going to Santiago. I am going
on a pilgrimage. Today is the first day of that pilgrimage. Well want's
new about that? 'Have you not been on many pilgrimages"? you may ask
me. And it is true. I have walked from many places to Santiago. I am no
stranger to the Camino in its many forms. This one will be different!
Today I have accepted the discipline of the long walk. I am not fit. I
am going to lose three or four stones. My dream weight is twelve stone
something. I have a serious knee problem that is still with me after three
months. Walking is difficult.I do not think that I can walk more than
a mile or so at the moment. I am going out for a short walk this
afternoon to begin the training. So what is distinctive about this
pilgrimage? I am going to walk from my own front door to Santiago
via Portsmouth and Santander in 30 to 40 days. I will start on
Sunday 14 August and arrive sometime mid September. Due to
illness I did not complete the walk to Portsmouth last year. So
it means the most of the route is unknown to me. However I do
know that the northern coast route and the Primative are well
known for their difficulty. Therefore the need to lose a deal of
weight and get properly fit this time.
Sometime ago a friend gave me a CD set called "Finding Santuary"
by Abbott Christopher Jamison. ( It is worth buying your own copy)
In it he discusses the application of monastic life to daily life. I
have been impressed with his teaching. The
life of which he speaks resonates with much that I understand
through pilgrimage. It does however go much further. The
consolations of pilgrimage are described but they are only the
foothills of much higher mountains. So this coming pilgrimage
is to be a great exploration of the hills now seen
from afar. The route I have chosen will be very quite. I do not
expect that  many pilgrims will come into view,that will add to
this time alone with God.
If you want to come along, you are welcome. It will not be easy
in any way.
But for now I must get this knee better. I need healing so pray for me.