Charity Walking is the name of this blog. The dictionary tells me charity is all sorts of things related to giving to the poor….and also leniency in judging others…and Christian love too. The next chapter of Charity Walking is a celebration of love. By the end of the month Rob and I will have been married 25 years. Showing charity to each other – in the sense of being lenient in judging, expecting the best of each other rather than the worst – is probably a significant factor in us sticking together since we were 15-year-olds. As we have grown in love, charity for others has also grown…..to the point that on our last wedding anniversary we were at opposite ends of the earth for the sake of others – Rob was in New Zealand and I was ending a fundraising walk for charity: water in Spain.
This year will be different. The actual day of our wedding anniversary will be spent (in part) with our children, those kids who *are* because of our love. The three weeks leading up to that will be spent without them; no children, just Rob and me. It is the first time we have left them all for more than two nights.
What will we do? Laze on a beach? Go bungy-jumping? Take a shopping holiday? No, we’ll simply be walking. We have always walked; from our newly-wed days in Poland when we couldn’t afford a tram ticket……to our years with babies strapped to us and then toddlers who took their own steps but soon needed to be hoisted onto our shoulders……to more recent times and greater distances.
Three years ago we walked our first camino in Spain and discovered we really enjoyed and were refreshed by the simplicity of carrying everything we needed on our backs, and getting up and walking day after day after day. We were invigorated by the new surroundings, laughed a lot with the new language, ate deliciously different food and relished the solitude and simultaneous camaraderie the trail provided.
On the spur of the moment just a few weeks ago, we decided to walk another camino to celebrate this milestone wedding anniversary. And so here we are, about to head to Portugal at the end of the week. As much as we’d love to walk the entire route from Lisbon, we don’t have time. So we are going to start in Porto and head to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Maybe we’ll come back and finish the rest another time!