Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 30 - A lovely book about an inspiring journey

The past week has been one of reflection for me. I spent a lot of time thinking about why I find myself so attracted to the idea of doing the Camino de Santiagao - something that I knew nothing about a few weeks ago.

So I started searching on the Internet and spent time reading blogs written by people who have either walked the camino, or like me, are still contemplating doing it. I found some wonderful material and I'm even more fascinated than ever.

The fist of my great finds was a a book called 'Walking the Camino' by an Australian author, Tony Kevin. I've bought the book and find I can't put it down! Many pilgrims have written about their experiences but I think I'd have to look far to find one as eloquently written as this one.

The introduction to his book reads: 'Tony Kevin retired from the Australian foreign service in 1998, after a 30-year government career during which he served in the Foreign Affairs and Prime Minister's departments, and was Australia's ambassador to Poland and Cambodia.' So what would prompt someone like Tony to walk a pilgrim's route of 1200 kilometres over hills and stones, with just a wooden rod and a backpack on his back?

I felt as if I've arrived in good company and that discovering why he chose to do this might help me understand my own fascination with the camino experience.

After some searching I found a clip of an interview done by an Australian radio station. It's about 26 or so minutes long but really worth listening to, right until the end. Especially if, like me, you are planning to tackle the camino somewhere in the future. Have a look at this link - you'll find the prompt on the pages where you can listen to the interview.

In the interview the presenter asks him why he thinks people do the walk and this is what he answered: 'One of the reasons is that it is an affirmation of common humanity. It is a way of saying - we are all one people in a world that is so divided - where people shut each other out. The Camino is a place where people meet as equals, reaching out to each other. There is a wonderful feeling of comradeship and empathy that comes out of that. It is an opprtunity to live a life (a brief life) without all the complications of normal life, our insecurities, our anger and our aggression. The Camino is always friendly, always reaches out. It's an opportunity, for a short while, to live a perfect life.'

I would love to post quotes from the book and have sent the publishers a note to ask permission to do so. As soon as I have the ok, I'll go ahead and share some more if this wonderful book with you.

I said at the beginning of this blog that I have a feeling I am going to discover some great things and here we are, 30 days into the journey. It certainly has not disappointed yet!

Finally - here is the picture of what I suspect is a baby custard apple tree. Against all odds, it is still alive and well on my kitchen sill! I'm not known for my green fingers, so this is a miracle of sorts - I wrote all about it in a previous post. Miracles do indeed still happen!


  1. Damn...another book to add to my list. I may wind up needing another bookshelf, but that also means finding wall space for said book shelf!! Hmmm guess that means a purge coming. My books are probably the one thing I'm most obsessive about having and keeping. Gonna have to work on that one! But thanks for a new title and author!!

  2. Pleasure! Sounds as if you can point me to others worth buying... I can see a whole new shelf developing over here too!


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