Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
I hadn’t heard of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain until Tim Phillips’ wonderful book came along. Pilgrims from all over the world cross the Pyrenees and walk across Spain from east to west, arriving at Santiago de Compostela five hundred miles later. They all have different reasons for making the long trek, but mainly they’re performing a spiritual exercise and looking for the kind of self-knowledge that comes from enduring hardship.
Phillips describes his own journey in a gentle voice that’s both welcoming and wise. As he walks, he digresses into his personal philosophy of life, which befits the nature of the walk itself. In fact, to the reader it seems like he’s looking more for affirmation of his ideas on how to live on this earth of ours than for new answers.
And the message that comes through perhaps more than any other in the book is that we are all on a camino of our own as we make our way through our three score years and ten (more if we’re lucky!). If we could live with the same kindness and generosity the camino walkers have for one another, our journeys would be safe and prosperous. We only need to accept hard times with grace and to practice forgiveness whenever we can.
Interestingly, Phillips has walked the camino two more times since the one described in the book. Maybe he’s a glutton for punishment, or for the joy of meeting a challenge that taxes the body but eases the mind. Either way, it’s a pleasure to accompany him on his journeys.
[Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the ebook by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]