Cloister in Los Arcos on the Camino de Santiago

Cloister in Los Arcos on the Camino de Santiago

Friday, January 13, 2017

Time - our retreating, depleting asset

(Photo: Our Lady's Island Lake, Co Wexford, January 2017).

Time bleeds out of every hour
With every year, a limb removed.
The beating hourglass
Drains the sands of life -
Imperceptibly flowing out;
Far, far away
From here and now -
To never flow
Back home again.

The tide has run
Without return.
Looking out the window
Of such short lives
We fail to gather, savour
The dear sweet moments
Dropping silently away
Stolen before our very eyes -
Strangers now and always.

The bank of time
Is running down
Deposits draining out the door.
That revolving door turns one way only
Spinning out our days
Of ordinary and not so ordinary lives.

Precious seconds
To be embraced
And now,

And now.

Portugal Beckons in May 2017!

(Photo - Bray-Greystones with Claire, Aido and Daniel)

The dice is thrown - again!

Is going to be the Portuguese Camino in May, at the second time of trying.

It may be only Barry and I walking from Porto to the Spanish/Portuguese border where we hope to be joined by Fraser, Gail, Lorraine and possible others.

We are busy doing our research with the help of the excellent travel guide by the wonderful John Brierley.

It was Einstein who opined that 'coincidences were God's way of staying anonymous'. My coincidence of the week was at our  AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) meeting last night when a volunteer who had returned after some years absence mentioned she was considering walking the 'Camino Portugues' at Easter! What are the chances? Especially the lesser known Portuguese route!

Hard to believe that four years will have elapsed since we made our way from Sarria to Santiago and six years since did the first stages from St. Jean Pied de Port! The stages are likely to be shorter and the meals longer this time round.

I have just renewed my membership of the Camino Society of Ireland where I hope to pick up our pilgrim passports ahead of the trip.

Portugal will be a new challenge and a new delight. I am looking forward to a full day in Porto ahead of the walk when with Barry's help we hope to complete a trip up the river Duoro by boat and return by train. Then onto Vila do Conde by the coastal route, even using the beach. I hope the tide is out. The following four days should see us meander through the pretty countryside, stopping at Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and Rubiaes before arriving at Valenca on one side of the river Mino and Tui on the Spanish side.

After a day in Tui when we hope to catch up with the newly arrived pilgrim we will spend the following five days making our way to Santiago.

The pilgrimage will be both an act of gratitude for still being here with the help of pills and doctors and an act of hope for the future. There are many to think of on this trip, especially those who soldiered with us before and those bravely combating illness.

Now, back to the maps...