Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; Wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing back one sees the path that must never be trod again.Wanderer, there is no road - Only wakes upon the sea. Antonio Machado
I had the pleasure of working again with my friend John Walsh on this song.
John is an award winning Composer, Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist.
The Camino de Santiago or the Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. People from all over the world continue to make this pilgrimage beginning their journey at around this time of year in the small towns of Spain, France or Portugal looking towards their destination - a journey through the mind, body and soul. So too it is for Yann Derrien, the young man in this song who makes his way to Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrim.
And what is it that draws so many people to the Camino? In his poem "Santiago", David Whyte writes,
".....walking as you did, in your rags of love and speaking in the voice that by night became a prayer for safe arrival, so that one day you realised that what you wanted had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place you had lived in before you began, and that every step along the way, you had carried the heart and the mind and the promise that first set you off and drew you on........"
He also wrote the poem "Finisterre" after he had spoken to his niece about her experience walking the Camino. This poem is also so well formed I can not leave this page without mentioning it. I heard him introduce it once.
He explained that when she arrived at Santiago she had the option of continuing on to the final destination of Finisterre, to the cliff edge. When a pilgrim arrives there it is custom to write a letter and burn it, in keeping with the art of letting go, and leave something of yours behind. When she got to the very end she emptied her bag , did the customary things and decided to leave her walking boots that had brought her the 500 miles to her destination and left the cliff edge in a pair of light sandals. As she walked back she saw her shadow on the water and hence the poem FINISTERRE was born! "...and to abandon the shoes that brought you here right at the water's edge, not because you had given up but because now, you would find a different way to tread, and because, through it all, part of you would still walk on, no matter how, over the waves....". Isn't it true that sometimes to get to our final destination we need to abandon the path we are on.
The road in the end taking the path the sun had taken,
into the western sea, and the moon rising behind you
as you stood where ground turned to ocean: no way
to your future now but the way your shadow could take,
walking before you across water, going where shadows go,
no way to make sense of a world that wouldn't let you pass
except to call an end to the way you had come,
to take out each frayed letter you had brought
and light their illumined corners; and to read
them as they drifted on the late western light;
to empty your bags; to sort this and to leave that;
to promise what you needed to promise all along,
and to abandon the shoes that brought you here
right at the water's edge, not because you had given up
but because now, you would find a different way to tread,
and because, through it all, part of you would still walk on,
no matter how, over the waves.
- David Whyte