I have come to realise in the last few days that I haven’t left the Camino de Santiago in the last three years!
That’s right. I’m a Camino guide and before I moved onto the Camino, I used to wander at will having lived and travelled all over the world. I guess I’ve settled down, even if I’ve spent thousands of hours walking millions of footsteps on the Camino trails.
Why? Why and how does the Camino de Santiago end up having such a grip on the hearts and minds of so many?
How can a long-distance hike manage to tame even the wildest soul such as myself? Perhaps it’s because I’ve hit my forties, who knows?
I can sum it up. The Camino spirit thrives in the Camino commmunity. There are plenty of long-distance hikes around the world but nothing compares to the legendary Camino spirit on the Camino de Santiago, as far as I am concerned.
The Camino spirit is everywhere: in every village, town, and city along the Camino de Santiago routes.
I often remember my life before the Camino or read stories from around the world and shudder. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to live in a lonely city, a lost village, or a concrete town with no real community. I spent years running from the darkness straight into the light.
We often think of coming into the light as a religious experience yet it really does apply to everyday life. Of finding your place on earth where you feel you belong. The community where you’re aligned in terms of your values and beliefs. Where the role you play isn’t a mask you put on but a genuine display of who you really are and how you feel.
Where love isn’t a conditional emotion between beings but an expression of a way of being.
Listening to music a day or two, I played “Light Me Up” by Birdy, a wonderful English songstress. For the first time, I identified the words with the Camino de Santiago. A perfect example of running from the darkness into the light. I share the song with you today to encourage you to come into the light of joyful living.
Camino de Santiago, it’s flow in my blood. I carry your love. I feel your love.
I’m taking some time out to walk the Ruta de la Plata and Camino de Mozarabe from Seville to Malaga, Spain this winter. I’ll then be stepping off the Camino trail for a month in my beloved Sierras of Andalucia where I once lived. We’ll have to see whether the Camino de Santiago spirit carries with me on my next adventure.
Check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago for practical advice on preparing to walk the Camino de Santiago including snippets from my journey and stories from Camino pilgrims.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2021. All Rights Reserved.