The road to the Camino starts here


Life journey winding

Patterns undulating, overlapping,

Weaving community

Touch as you pass, smile

Hold the moment

As God holds you in His heart.

The photo for our blog today shows the three cards we exchanged for Valentine’s day. The first was made by Lindisfarne Scriptorium, with the poem above set into the Celtic loops and swirls depicting journeying. On the second and third cards are depictions of love and adventure.

In our live-in carer job we have are taking a pause in journeying geographically to be in one place. At the same time, this feels like a preparation time for the Camino. We have been working on getting more physically fit through running and climbing (still feeling stiff muscles in unexpected places from last night at the climbing wall!). Our preparations in prayer time also feel important. Clare came back from a service at her home church with the phrase ‘The road to the Camino starts here’ and this, together with a  newly discovered book, ‘The Soul of the Pilgrim, Eight practices for the journey within’, by Christine Valters Painter, have been the focus of our prayer times.

One of the lovely things about this book, is that it explores pilgrimage as an inner and outer process, which can be just as soul-changing whether this journeying is within a single room, or walking a mountain track in the middle of Spain. We are very aware that those of our friends and family reading this are in very different circumstances, ranging from travelling abroad to being virtually housebound. Journeys of the heart can held and captured in a single moment of time and space.

At the same time, most of our days are very practical at the moment. In additional to our work as carers, we have had and recovered from stomach bugs, mended flat tyres, and had appointments with dentists, opticians and hairdressers. Noel has learned to cook apple crumble and Clare to cook chicken casserole the traditional way (ie with chicken).

Between these tasks, we are taking time each day to explore the philosophical aspects of our journeying, and also practising exercises on Non-Violent Communication (NVC), an insightful and intriguing approach to learning better communication, developed by Marshall Rosenberg. Valuable preparation for any journey.


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