¡Buen Camino!

Dear Friends,
It has taken three tries and nine years, but as of July 2012, I have finally walked the entire Way of Compostela from my former home in Leuven/Louvain, Belgium, to Santiago de Composela!
My first pilgrimage experience from the French frontier with Spain to Santiago itself took place in 2003. You can read the details of this first walk along the famous Camino across Spain in my book, To The Field of Stars: A Pilgrim's Journey to Santiago de Compostela, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (2008). (You can order it from the publisher, from Amazon.com, or from your local bookseller).
In the summer and early fall of 2007, I walked from Belgium most of the way across France, with the hope of at least making it to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port near the Spanish border, where I began the first pilgrimage. I didn't quite make it. A bad case of plantar fasciitis took me down in the Bordeaux village of Sainte-Ferme. I continued on to Santiago by train and bus, but the "defeat of my feet" and those last 175 miles or so that were left undone, gnawed at me over the ensuing five years. Happily, I was finally able to wrap up this grand pilgrimage with a third walk from Sainte-Ferme to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port this past summer (2012). It was a joy to have completed all 2,370 kilometers between Leuven and Santiago.
My adventures and misadventures, my thoughts and prayers of both the 2007 and 2012 pilgrimages have been shared in this blog. I will leave the blog and its archives open for some time to come; if you want to read bits and pieces of it, feel free, but remember that the beginning is at the bottom and the end is at the top.
My contact e-mail remains the same: kacodd@gmail.com; I am always happy to receive mail!
As the pilgrims in Spain greet one another, so I greet you, my reader: "Buen Camino!"
And as the people of France greet their pilgrims along the "Chemin", I also wish to you: "Courage!"

Grace and peace to you all!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Three months to prepare!

Dear Friends,
I begin this blog just about three months from the day I hope to walk out the big green door of The American College in Louvain. I am both excited and a bit afraid. I know the pilgrimage experience is an extraordinary one for body, soul and heart since I've done it once already, but the one I am close to beginning will be so very different in so many ways: three times as long, crossing French-speaking Europe for at least two months and I speak hardly any French, many fewer pilgrim hostels along the way...
This will be an exercise in trust mostly: trust in the kindness of strangers and trust in a God who seems to have a special place in his heart for pilgrims through the centuries, and trust in Santiago, an old friend now, who beckens me to come back for another visit to his place.
There is so much to do! Maps to figure out, a few things yet to buy for the road (plain old soap for body and clothes!), pack up my present life here in Louvain into boxes and ship it all back to the States before I leave, take care of more farewells than I can even imagine...
I am also anxious to get going...adventures await, and quiet, and prayer, and pondering, and learning...