Monday, December 30, 2013

To The Field of Stars

After seeing the movie, The Way, starring Martin Sheen, I have become a bit obsessed with books about people who choose to walk the ages old pilgrimage, The Santiago de Compostella.  I downloaded this book on my kindle and I really enjoyed it. If you are not familiar with The is a 500 mile trek from France, across Spain and to the church where the relics of Saint James, brother of Saint John, rest. For centuries people have walked this trail. In the middle ages, the pilgrimage was dangerous. Highway men and disease often claimed the pilgrim before he reached his destination. Even today it is not an easy walk. The Way leads across mountains and rugged terrain yet people still heed the call of the Camino. To the Field of Stars recounts the journey of Father Kevin Codd, an American priest who presides over a seminary in Belgium. While he is in Europe, he feels the time is ripe for his pilgrimage. He is 51 years old, not in the greatest of shape but he does not let that deter him. With little training he takes the train to the starting point, receives his "passport" and his shell. The shell is a symbol of Saint James that all the hikers receive to tie to their backpack. The passport gives you access to cheap housing along the way and at each refuge, you receive a stamp. At the end of your journey you receive a very nice certificate proclaiming you have completed The  Way. And if you are not up to hiking 500 miles, you can still receive a certificate if you prove you walked 100 miles on The Way.  For most hikers the 500 mile journey takes about a month. Kevin took 35 days to walk 500 miles but as he states in his record, he took his time and also had to take a day off to let his blisters and tendonitis heal.  For the modern day hiker, Blisters seem to be the most troublesome physical aspect of the walk. A few poor souls that Kevin came upon also suffered from stomach ailments from bad food.

Father Kevin gives his view of The Way in an easy to read format. He tells about the aggravations...snorers in the refuges, talkative companions and the weather. There were many sweet moments on the hike, where people showed kindness to a stranger, encouragers helped the  discouraged and the general fellowship that developed among the pilgrims.  Father Kevin also took us inside the magnificent cathedrals and the humble places of worship along The Way. We see the spiritual aspect of this pilgrimage and the way God uses The Way to change his children.  If you are looking for a book that will encourage you in your Christian Walk, this book is one that will do just that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arlene, I love stories about people that trek around the country (countries). There was one a few years ago about a man and his dog that walked across America.