¡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!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beginning the Finish

Well, my friends, it is time to "reactivate" this blog. Tomorrow I leave the United States for a month back in Europe. I'll spend about ten days in Belgium attending a reunion of  my seminary in Leuven/Louvain, (The American College) and visiting with many great friends. Then, on June 29th, I will fly to Bordeaux, make my way first to La Reole, then Saint-Ferme, to pick up my grand pilgrimage exactly where I left off five years ago. From Saint-Ferme I will walk the final 200 kms/120 miles to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. With arrival in SJPdP, I will have walked finally from Leuven, Belgium to Santiago de Compostela; it will have taken three passes at it, but it will be done. All this, of course, presuming that I stay healthy on the road for the ten to twelve days it should take: no blisters and no tendonitis, please God.
It feels a bit strange having my big friend, Gregory the Great, now dusted off and ready to go again, my  big Bavarian boots, the Meindle Brothers, softened up and broken in again, and, yes, Click and Clack, my walking poles, at hand. Okay, boys, here we go...
I am nervous. My French language skills have gone from passable to negligible, I haven't done enough training, I weigh ten pounds more than five years ago...etc...etc. But its only 200 kms...what can go wrong?
I'll do my best to make the whole thing a prayer and be ready to accept whatever comes my way, the good and the not-so-good.
Once this is done, I'll get back to finishing up the sequel to To The Field of Stars, (its been sitting on my desk for five years now!)...I promise!
I'll try to keep up on posting to this blog as I am able...and to my Facebook page ("Kevin A Codd").
Okay, time to go...