I walked 14 km through beautiful country and I am posting some pictures. I hope you enjoy them.
today I Waltons 29 km ending with a big hill. I put a blog on YouTube; Day three update.
I will try to upload some pictures but I would suggest you type my name into youtube and try to find my blog.
I put a new YouTube video and it’s available on my page. Type in Stephen Haig on YouTube and you’ll find it there. I find it hard to write as I only have an iPhone and the buttons are too small. So please except my YouTube video as my blog post
Much has happened since I last posted to this blog site.
In January I retired from the best parish in the world, St. George’s, Clarksburg. This was a difficult decision for me but I know it is the right one. Georgina and I had been living apart for the last 7 years and, as life is short and uncertain, I felt I wanted to spend some time with her. So, we crunched the number and decided that, while tight, we could afford to have me retire and move to our house in London. We had a wonder time of “goodbye” in Clarksburg and now I am here.
Besides doing renovation work on our house, my main priority has been to get ready for another camino, which starts on March 24th. On that day Georgina will drive me to the Toronto airport and I will be beginning a new adventure. After flying to Faro, Portugal I will take a bus to Sevilla, Spain. When I feel I am rested and ready, I will be setting out on the Camino route called the Via de la Plata; a journey of 1000 kms north to Santiago de Compostella.
This is my second “Camino”. I completed the French route in 2013 and found that the Camino experience gets into your soul. When I returned the first time and was asked to describe the experience, I said “it was a long frickin’ walk”! Soon after my return home though I realized that there was a voice calling to me and I decided that another was in my future. That future is now.
The VldP is a longer route and much more isolated. It doesn’t have the same infrastructure and requires longer stages, some up to 39 kms, which I am not sure is within my limit at this point. I have been walking 6 hours a day to get ready but still feel that 39 kms is possible. I guess I will just have to find out.
The length and difficulty of this route has me worried. While last time I was quivering with excitement, this time I am shaking with anxiety. But it will be what it will be. This time, if I do not finish, I will not be upset… I will just do my best!
At Christmas I received a “gopro 4″ a small video camera that I can use to tape daily vlogs and then upload to youtube. If you would like to follow my vlog, it is here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCn3O_a39Lc4fROcnEAGMG3A All you have to do is open it and subscribe.
I cannot promise to be regular in updating this blog or my youtube vlog but this luddite will give it a try!
I have some walks planned for this week, but suspect that some of my training will have to take place on the early stages of the walk.
So… thanks for following along. I will use this to keep in touch and allow you to do the same.
I wish you a Camino of your own someday, if possible.
Slow Walking Stevie Wonder
Again, it is with my apologies that I begin to update you. It has been far too long I know but computers are hard to come by!
I finished my walk into Santiago last friday. The last few days of the trip were hard as I wasn´t feeling up to snuff. My walking distance dropped as I was out of gas… but as I didn´t stop, I made it.
I checked into an Old seminary and then went to mass at the cathedral. They swung the large censor (butofumeria…or something in that ball park). The service was conducted by the bishop and there were a couple of thousands of people.
I rested in Santiago to see if I might get the feeling that I could do the last 100 kms to the coast, but my cold prevented that… so I joined my friends Lizzy and Louie in their rented car instead. Finisterra was our first stop, which is the westernmost point of Europe… the name means end of the earth. Today we went to Muxia, another cape or point sticking out into the ocean (this was the place that Martin Sheen´s character put the ashed of his son into the ocean). It was very beautiful and rustic.
My last task for my camino was to put some of the ashes of two folk from my parish into that same place! Their spouses gave the ashes to me and I said I would put them into the ocean… today I did just that. I said prayers and sung that song from Lord of the rings Into the West! Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgcoBKWTW14 (I hope it works if you haven´t heard it)
Something about being asked to take these ashes to Muxia moved me a great deal; the trust that was being placed in me was overwhelming. Also (and I haven´t figured it out yet) it feels like sometime we as clergy are asked to take people to sacred spaces, holy places… and we ourselves are somehow inadequate for the task at times. Your feedback on this would be appreciated!
Tomorrow I leave for Porto, Portugal. I hope to spend some time sightseeing and sitting on the beach… maybe even sightseeing on the beach! My flight leaves Porto next Monday!
I do look forward to seeing so many of you. Today I was imagining what it would be like to stand in my church and greet again so many who are important to me… I am looking forward to that day!
I am ready to come home; my Camino is now done!
Blessings to you all from Spain!
It has been a while since I put anything on this blog, and for that I apologize!
I am now less than 100 kms to Santiago! For the last little while I have been struggling with a lung infection and some sore feet (the last problem is shared by everyone, I think). The only affect is that I am even slower than I was before and I am not putting in the numbers of kilometers I was. I am still well within my intended schedule so that is not a problem either.
I have been reflecting whilst on the road (when you are walking in the clouds and can only see 25 meters at the most, you do not get distracted by the beautiful scenery). I realized that the thing about this Camino that I like the most is the walking! Some say it is the socializing after the days walk, but I have truly appreciated the physical action of walking. The more I walk, the more contented I feel! (I will have to find a way to keep exercising that is as enjoyable!)
I have been thinking about my life and how blessed I am! I am different… I am sometimes awkward socially… but I can now say I am happy the way I am and that I am truly blessed!
At the Cruz de Ferro, the iron cross, pilgrims leave rocks or symbols; I left a number of things for others, but the only thing I left for myself was a quartz rock I found and it, to me, symbolized that I wanted to leave behind a burden I have carried for far to long. That burden is: ¨you aren´t good enough¨. Now I will try to live as if I AM good enough!
The other thing I realized is that the learning of the Camino will take place long after I am home! Right now this is still a long fricking walk! Later I hope to be able to reflect on it in a proper way. Now it is just… get up, walk, clean up, eat and sleep! Then do it over again tomorrow!
So, again, I am sorry I have not posted! At the end of the day I am whipped or there is no computer! Keep me in your thoughts.
I am almost done! I will be in Santiago by Friday. I will take a rest day I suspect then head towards the coast; that is 100 kms and will take me another 4 days.
I will be flying home 2 weeks today… I am looking forward to seeing so many of you!
Love… and remember… if you don´t stop, you WILL get there too!
ps. I got to see Georgina on skype yesterday… she said I looked ¨skinny¨. No one ever said that about me before. (I actually am not skinny but I have lost some weight… maybe 20 lbs). Having her say that made me really emotional in a nice way… (I will have to figure out why I responded so)!
Yesterday I had a short day (20kms) because my heel bruise from the long days was a little troublesome. Got a hotel room by myself and couldn´t sleep! (Guess I missed all the snoring and farting)!
Today I walked from Sahagun to Reliegos about 30kms. The day showed me the definition of monotony. For 30 kms I walked a stone path beside a highway (one car per hour). There were millions of trees planted beside the path… all 12 steps or 10 meters apart. The landscape was “Essex county flat”. It was boring… and long! (The mountains are off in the distance and are getting closer!) There was nothing except ants to look at… so… I thought.
Today I thought about the folks I miss at St. George´s… LL and MM who are with me in the office (I miss you). I miss the folks who enrich my life there. I have it “good” in Clarksburg! See you in a few weeks! I talked to Tony and Iris and many are asking about me and praying for me… thanks a lot… I doooo appreciate it!
I thought about my kids… you guys are great (all 4 of you). I miss seeing you too. Thanks Jamie for arranging a short skype conversation with the Canon!
Most of all I thought about Georgina… Canon George. I remembered waiting for her at the airport when she finished her camino 9 years ago. I imagined too what it would be like to have her meet me! It did bring tears to my eyes a couple of times as I thought about the embrace and I am not ashamed to admit it!
I have much to be grateful for!
I am tired but in good spirits! I will be in Leon tomorrow, well beyond half way. I suspect that I will be able to get to Finister and Muxia in my allotted time (I have a sacred duty there for a couple of my grieving friends). I will soon be at the Iron Cross and will be dropping off a number of things and offering my prayers for many of you!
I am still waiting to find out why I am on this journey! It still feels like a long walk but I am being faithful to the walk and trust God will be faithful too and will show me why I am here.
I am missing a Collation, an ordination and an Archdeacons residential… be assured that I am thinking of you and sending my “regrets”??
I am tired, happy, missing my loved ones and being as faithful as I can!
I send my love and assure I know some are thinking of me!
The other day I spoke of my part 4, going on alone… “Manly Stanley” reminded me that I never walk alone! And that helped in my struggling!
I wish I could share more but that´s all I can think of and my money is running out on the computer.
Long walking and Leaner… Stevie Wonder