Reflections on Walking the Camino
The Camino has been fantastic. We're making Jesus known and loved everyday. I can't even begin to explain what an awakening it has been for me personally, not to mention the growth I've seen in both Tyler and Mike. So many people I've met are curious what a Brother is... I've had so many conversations about faith, religion, and spirituality with so many people, it's clear to me why God wanted me here. Quote from Alice (a pilgrim from Pennsylvania): "Did you know you were going to be teaching so many people on the Camino when you decided to walk it? Because you really are teaching us A LOT! I love talking to and walking with you." It has truly been a blessed experience- blisters and all!!!
--Brother Todd Patenaude
"Today I walked into the town that is the halfway mark for my Camino. Already 250 miles walked and I cannot explain the feeling that is felt on the Camino. We have a family here, we are one family who come from all corners of the world, for the same purpose. For the last nearly 2 weeks I have felt nothing but love and community. There has been no war, no hate, no politics. We all wake up in the morning, walk 15-20 miles before noon (I know, it seems like alot, and it is) and then we relax together and enjoy the afternoons. I have forgotten the day of the week nearly everyday, I have forgotten the names of towns that I just spent the night in. And I'm ok with that. I have learned even more how important it is to help one another and care for one another. I have witnessed fellow pilgrims offer what little they have to other pilgrims who need it more. People they have known for a few days or even a few minutes.
My Camino experience has been one of the best experiences of my life to date. For reasons that I can't even put in words, I've seen indescribable moments in time that not even a photo could do justice, I've met people that can't be described even if I wrote a book about them. I've learned alot about myself as well, I've realized strength and weaknesses, I've done alot of reflection and have been able to think alot about the future (you have alot of time when you have 15+ miles for the day). I've grown alot through my experiences and reflection.
So as I lay in bed tired from walking 250 miles in the last 15 days, I can honestly say that I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world. And tomorrow, I will get up at 4am again to walk another 19 miles, and again the day after that, and the day after that and my Camino will continue. When I reach santiago in 250 miles, my Camino will continue. And I am excited, because who wouldn't be excited to walk 250 miles in a few weeks, I mean really?!? I am excited to be technically homeless for the next few weeks like I have been for the last few weeks. I am excited to share my food and belongings with my family. I am excited to carry my 15 pound bag with me and know that those are my belongings and I have nothing else to hold onto. I am excited for the community meals that the Italians will cook because they really know how to cook delicious food. I am excited to see how this family grows together.
I hope everyone can one day experience this feeling that is the Camino, it is special, it is unique, and honestly it is awesome."
Brother Todd also shared with us a video made by someone who travelled the Camino with them: