Introduction to my 2015 pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

It’s been said that your “Camino’ begins when you make the decision to go.  Well, I made my decision to go, to walk the Camino de Santiago, in April 2011, and did, in fact, go and walk in July 2011, from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I returned again in September 2013, and walked from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela and then on to Finisterre (although I skipped a few segments along the way on that Camino).

After my return from Spain in October 2013, I thought that I had gotten the Camino out of my system, but within a matter of weeks, I once again heard the call from deep within, inviting me, more like begging me, to return to the Camino de Santiago.  For those who have been fortunate enough to walk the Camino, you know that strong inner impulse, that indescribable feeling, that tug at your heart and soul, that call to come “home”.

Since my last Camino in 2013,  much has happened in my life, some of which has been incredibly exciting and gratifying, and some that has been very difficult and challenging.  I have traveled to Cambodia and Vietnam to take a TESOL course and was certified in November 2013 to Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages.  After a wonderful 3-1/2 months living with my oldest daughter and two grandsons in Arizona, I returned to Vietnam and trained Vietnamese English teachers for 10 weeks.  This was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

However, upon my return home to Lynden, Washington, USA in September 2014, I was admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure.  After months of medications, 40 sessions of a Vietnamese acupressure technique, Dien Chan, in Bai Chay, Vietnam with Mr. Dac,  a catheter ablation procedure at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, numerous EKG’s, Echocardiograms, X-Ray’s, MRI’s, and Ultrasounds, and a multitude of vitamin supplements…..and lots of walking, including a test run elevation hike to Fragrance Lake, I am ready to embark on Camino 2015.

After my son, Ryan’s, wedding on August 28th, I am flying to Barcelona on August 30th, and from there will make my way to the Pyrenees in southern-France.  I have not yet decided whether I will begin walking in St. Jean Pied de Port, or possibly start in Lourdes, take the Piedmont Route to St. Jean Pied de Port, and then continue on the traditional Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela, and Finisterre.

I have given my Camino 2015 a theme, “Making Peace With My Past”.  The only expectation that I will take with me is that the Camino will provide!  It will provide answers to unknown questions, guidance for inner wandering and wondering, and grace for doubts and fear!

While my more personal contemplation and thoughts will be recorded in my private journal, I hope to share many moments and reflections in this blog.  It would be an honor if you would join me on my journey, “The Way”!

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