Although there are still a couple of days left in May, book sales of Senior Camino have reached a new monthly high! Thanks to all those out there who have purchased this title, either in hard copy through Amazon or in Kindle version. One comment from a reader indicated that it inspired her to get started and actually go on the Camino de Santiago, even at the advanced age of 65! Hahahaha. That’s great, but dear reader, 65 isn’t old, it’s just older!
We are now well into “prime” Camino time — the months of May through October, and once again I am getting “the itch.” My body seems to have mostly healed from last Fall’s injuries, but I still have some major “getting in shape” to do before heading back to Spain or Portugal. I do have some lingering nerve issues that I am trying to sort out with the doctors. Haven’t gotten to the bottom of that yet.
Due to other plans, there will be no Camino trip this year in 2018, but my old Camino buddy, Greg recently told me that he still wants to do the Camino Portuguese, so perhaps next Spring we can make that happen.
Plans are well underway for my trip to Israel this coming October — a planned tour with several folks from my church here in Carmichael, CA. This will be a two-week trip starting mid-October and will involve Tel Aviv, Eilat, Ein Gedi at the Dead Sea, Tiberias/Galilee, Petra in Jordan, and of course Jerusalem. My excitement to finally visit the Holy Land is indescribable! Heather will not be able to go with me, because she has some plans to visit her family on the East Coast and this July will be her Mom’s 90th birthday. I will take copious notes, of course, and hundreds of photos. Maybe a new book will come out of it! We’ll see.
For those who have read Senior Camino, it will come as no surprise that an influential book by Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, eventually inspired me to become a pilgrim. This was long before I even knew about the Camino de Santiago. The book is actually a study, or an analysis, of the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120-134). These psalms were most likely sung by Hebrew pilgrims as they went up to Jerusalem to the great worship festivals. There is an upward movement here since Jerusalem is the highest point geographically in Palestine. But Peterson points out that the ascent was not only literal, it was also a metaphor: “the trip to Jerusalem acted out a life lived upward to God, an existence that advanced from one level to another in developing maturity…this picture of the Hebrews singing these fifteen psalms as they left their routines of discipleship and made their way from towns and villages, farms and cities, as pilgrims up to Jerusalem has become embedded in the Christian devotional imagination. It is our best background for understanding life as a faith-journey.”
Any Camino veteran will understand this metaphor. At another point in the book, Peterson tells us that Christians cannot stay in one place, thinking that they have achieved knowledge or whatever, lest they become Statues. They must keep moving towards the goal and are thereby pilgrims their entire lives as followers of Christ.
As the Israel itinerary firms up, I will keep you posted of the places and dates where we will be. Until then, adios amigos! And as always, buen Camino!