"Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy."
- excerpt from the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
I'm Anna. I'm searching for Truth. While I know that it takes a lifetime (or maybe longer) to find it, I'm comfortable with devoting my life to the effort. This October, I'm taking off on a 500 mile, 35 day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. St. James (Santiago) is supposedly buried there, beneath a "field of stars" (Compostela). If you haven't watched the Martin Sheen movie "The Way" yet, and want to get a basic idea of what this is all about, it's a good place to start.
The pilgrimage itself has many different routes, all collectively called The Way or Camino de Santiago. The route that I'll be taking is called the Camino Frances. It stretches from St. Jean Pied de Port in France, across the Pyrenees, and down through Spain to Santiago de Compostela. It's been used by Roman Catholic pilgrims since around 9th century AD, and is based partially on pagan roadways that existed long before that. It's the most popular of the routes, and thousands of pilgrims of all faiths walk, bike, or ride it on horseback every year. I'll be walking the entire way, exploring holy places, meeting other pilgrims, and taking a lot of time to "hang out" with my favorite saint, St. Francis. I'll also be keeping a daily blog (Compass & Quill) with photos, and collecting material to write a book about the experience (working title: Me & Frankie on The Way...it makes me laugh).
For a long time, I've been struggling with making the decision to go, even though I bought the plane ticket back in January. I'm going to lose a client in a few days when I announce that I plan to be out of the country for a month, and it's going to be a real hardship when that happens. But through the past months, talking it through with my friends and loved ones, I've come to realize that life isn't worth living if you're not actually living it. In the end, I figured it can't hurt to swallow my pride and ask my friends and family for help in being a better person. If you're not interested in helping, or can't help, that's definitely OK. If you can, I'd really appreciate the support.
Your money will go to help me pay for food and lodging in Spain, plus if time allows after I've finished my walk, a short side trip back to Assisi to do additional research on St. Francis. Any additional will go towards publishing the book.
Also, if you can't help but would love to be along in spirit, I'm really excited about that. I'll keep you in my daily thoughts. You can also send prayers with me if you'd like me to take them to a special place along the route, like the Cruz de Ferro or any of the many churches and shrines along the way.