Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How We Come To Be Walking the Camino: Harold Tells the Story

On February 21, 2012, I went to my home mailbox and was surprised to find a Netflix DVD entitled "The Way" starring Martin Sheen.  I had not heard of the movie nor did I order it.  I read the blurb on the envelope and it appeared to be about hiking. 

Since Linda and I take a hiking vacation every two or three years, I assumed she had the movie sent to me so I called to thank her.  Linda said she had not heard of the movie and did not send it.  So far, I have been unable to get anyone to confess to having sent it. 

I watched the movie and discovered it was about a man walking the Camino de Santiago carrying the ashes of his son who had started his own pilgrimage but died on the first day.  

I had never heard of the Camino de Santiago.  I quickly researched it online.  I then called Linda to tell her to watch this excellent movie and told her what I had discovered about the Camino de Santiago.  I told her that St. James was the patron saint of Spain, that his symbol was the scallop shell, and that all the pilgrims who make the 500 mile pilgrimage carry a scallop shell visible somewhere on their person to indicate that they are pilgrims.

Linda said, "Dad, you do know that in our family coat of arms there are three scallop shells don't you?"  

"No, tell me about them."  
Linda said, "During medieval times, three Graham knights made this pilgrimage and that is why the scallop shells were included in our coat of arms."  

"Maybe I should make this pilgrimage," I said.

"Dad, its more than that."  (Linda's husband, Ric, is of Spanish descent.) "Do you know where Ric's family is from?" 

"Not a clue."  

She told me, "From Galicia - where the cathedral that is at the end of the pilgrimage and that holds the relics of St. James is located." 

"Maybe we both need to make this pilgrimage." I answered.

"I think so."

"When do we leave?" I asked.

We each began to try to get into condition to make the pilgrimage.  We leave Houston on September 6, 2012.


  1. Here is a nice blog post by a pilgrim who walked the Camino last year arriving in Santiago at about the time Dad and I expect to be there this year:

  2. Best of luck to both of you!

  3. I have wanted to see this movie; I am very excited to be following your journey. God bless you -- and thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Everything is linked together. Good luck in this long walk.