Smiling pilgrims on the Path

Pilgrim's path

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela
The name alone evokes romantic visions
Of a pilgrim path trodden by many thousands
Seeking healing
Following their faith on “the Way”
To the shrine to St. James the Traveler

Ancient routes of the pilgrims
Followed for hundreds of years
Wind out of northern Spain
From the French border in the Pyrenes
Intersecting in Leon

Spirits walk with you on this journey
Of those whose feet smoothed the stones over hundreds of years
To today’s hikers in their boots

Old, young, single or trail buddies
All share a common spirit
All embrace the greeting and ethic of “bien camino”
A spirit of welcoming graciousness and shared objective
Every walker and every resident soul greets the traveler With that same welcoming greeting “bien camino”

It is a gentle spirit that guides all who walk “the Way”
Incredibly unburdened by the callousness of our time
Neither fear nor danger lurk in the shadows
“bien camino”

Just friendly open people
Such as the college professor who walked 15 minutes out of his way to insure we found the next hotel
Leaving us with a quiet “bien camino”

Those who walk have many motivations
We hiked to share our adventure with each other
Some seek adventure, some healing
All display their passion by persistent effort
To complete the challenge of the Camino

Walking along with these present and past spirits
The terrain and vista’s roll out before you
A constantly changing panorama of great simplicity
A palate of natural beauty
Slowing unwrapping the gift that is rural Spain

Mountains, rolling hillside, vineyards, farms
Cattle, herding dogs, chickens and fertile fields
Blooming heather, bagpipes and café’s
Flowers along ancient Celtic stone walls
Medieval bridges and cobble stone cart paths
Meander through small villages
Walking farm lanes tunneling through trees
Bounded by fields of wheat or resting cows

These engaged all my senses
Walking along the Way
Refreshing my spirit
Filling me with tranquility

Bien Camino

©Alan G. Cummings 2016

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