Walking the Way Wherever We Are
Today is the feast of St. James, Apostle. One of the “Sons of Thunder,” along with St. John, this son of Zebedee is the patron saint of Spain.
St. James’ remains are interred at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. The pilgrimage by foot or bicycle to Santiago de Compostela is known as “the way”. A symbol of St. James is the scallop shell, and this has also become a symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago.
Scallop shells have been souvenirs of “the way” since the middle ages, as they were plentiful in the area, but also have great metaphorical significance. The scallop shell has many lines all leading to the same point, much like pilgrims on different roads all ending up at the Cathedral of St. James. So whether or not we have ever walked the Camino, in honor of St. James, let us take a walk today — however brief it may be.
Let the walk we take be imbued with a spirit of pilgrimage. A sacred walk may be as brief as the steps from house to car, if filled with the spirit of mindfulness and taking in the present moment with all of one’s senses. To paraphrase R.S. Thomas, over the course of your walk, gather up “pollen you shall work up/ Into honey the mind feeds on.”
Along with today’s music by Alanis Morisette is a video montage from the film, “The Way,” released in 2010. Starring Martin Sheen, this film explores the motivations and journey of those who travel the way.