Romance on the Way

Romance on the Way: Love on the Camino

There are as many reasons why people flock to the Camino de Santiago as there are pilgrims along the Way.  Some, like me, feel ‘called’ to make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in the northwest corner of Galicia, Spain.  Others go in thanksgiving, in supplication, in penance or just because it is there and they feel the need to walk.  

Everyone who makes the Way to Santiago is changed by the experience.  Some even find love.

This month, in honor of St. Valentine, my friend and fellow blogger Laurie Ferris, whose blog is The Camino Provides,  is collecting stories about  romance on the Camino de Santiago.  If you have a story of romance to share, please be sure to contact her! 

 

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Calling all Camino Couples! You know who you are.  Perhaps you met on the Camino and fell in love. Maybe you were newlyweds who walked the Camino for a honeymoon. Or an established couple who wanted to mix things up and test your relationship. Perhaps you walked alone and came to the conclusion that someone back home is your true love.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so they say.

I wonder how many marriage proposals happened as a result of the Camino. It seems the Camino works in mysterious ways.  Is it something in the water or the Spanish wine?  I think there’s something in the air.

Love is in the Air

For the month of February, I’ll feature a few Camino love stories.  I certainly respect the premise of what happens on the Camino stays on the Camino.  However, love is a splendid thing that should be celebrated. Has the Camino provided you with more than just a long walk? If you have a Camino love story to share,  email me or use the form below. Photos and video links welcome.

Share the Camino love! ♥

February 2, 2016,   Laurie Ferris

The Way – Not Always What You Think

The Way

 

Whenever I see those words, they jump out at me.  I’ve walked the Camino de Santiago – the 500-mile pilgrimage route in northern Spain – four times.  It has and continues to play an important role in my life.  Known by various names, El Camino, The Pilgrim Road, The Way of St. James – and for those who are intimately familiar with it, it is simply The Way. 

 

In 2010, Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez heightened awareness, particularly in the United States, of the pilgrimage with their fictional, yet inspiring film by the same title. 

The Way

 

Recently, when I was in Adare, Co. Limerick, I ducked into the cool interior of one of my favourite churches in Ireland, Holy Trinity Church.  Centrally situated on the main street, it is a stunning 14th century grey stone structure with simple yet elegant lines. On this visit, I was immediately intrigued when I spotted a cone-shaped, bronze sculpture tucked into a corner at the back of the church.

 

On first glance it reminded me of the Sorting Hat of Harry Potter fame, so, curious as to why something pertaining to Harry Potter would be in the church, I had to appease my curiosity by getting a closer look. 

Sorting hat

It was clearly NOT a Sorting Hat.  

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The Camino de Santiago – near Cacabelos

 

However, due to the title The Way, my next assumption was to associate it somehow with the now famous Pilgrimage route.  The popularity of the Camino has grown immensely in Ireland as well.  Wrong again.  Despite the title, the fascinating sculpture had nothing at all to do with the Camino de Santiago. 

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Approximately two feet high, its conical shape represents the hill of Jerusalem.  There, the sculptor, John Blakely, obtained a 5 million-year-old piece of marble excavated from the city walls.  It is one of only three such stones to have been taken out of Jerusalem adding to the unique nature of this bas relief. The marble stone is embedded near the top of the bronze sculpture, which is actually a representation of a staircase and path leading through the city of Jerusalem, a path which Jesus would likely have used.

 

So in a manner of speaking, the Camino de Santiago and the Irish Sculpture are related.  Pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela often make reference to Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth and the life”. Or perhaps it is just me – I seem to find correlations to the Camino de Santiago in many strange places. 

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Nonetheless, this piece is one of many treasures found in Holy Trinity Church.  When visiting Adare, with all there is to do and see, it is easy to overlook this beautiful church.  Don’t.