Like an old boot, the "road" is a well-worn metaphor often used to describe the hero's journey through life, tragedy, and ultimately self-discovery. Think road and we may imagine danger, adventure, escape, mystery, new possibilities. A pilgrim road adds the element of spiritual quest. The pilgrim longs for something more, something that transcends the ordinary, something that brings him or her closer to God.
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, or Way of St. James, is one of the oldest pilgrim roads in the world. It's actually multiple routes originating in various parts of Europe, all of which lead to the magnificent cathedral in northwest Spain where legend has it the remains of the Apostle James are buried. Pilgrims have been converging on this holy ground for a thousand years along a route first built by the Romans and later used by the armies of Charlemagne and Napoleon in their various military conquests.
In a few days I'll be one of those pilgrims, starting out in the French border town of St. Jean Pied-de-Port and continuing as long as my well-worn feet will have it.
- From Paris, 4/28/17