The Camino de Santiago: The Way of St. James
On exhibit at the Cherrydale Branch Library, June 18 - September 23, 2019.
Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.... ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Country Life, 1858
I first walked a small part of the Camino de Santiago in 2011 after being trampled by a bull during the Feast of San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain. My friends gleefully texted me that there is YouTube video of the crowds in the arena yelling “Ole!!” cheering the bull if one is curious enough to search (I lost the link). My body still aches just thinking about it.
In May 2014, I went back to do the Camino de Santiago starting from San Jean Pied de Port, France. When registering for the Camino and picking up your Credencial (the pilgrim’s passport), volunteers ask if you are doing the 800 kilometer trek for religious, spiritual, or athletic reasons. Regardless of what you say at the beginning of your Camino, it becomes an intensely personal and spiritual struggle two weeks in when you are both mentally and physically exhausted from the 100s of kilometers already walked … with 100s more to go. Five years on, it remains one of the most physically challenging things I have ever done.
Walking the Camino is a life changing event for many reasons. First is the people you meet each day and hearing the amazing stories of how they found their way to the Camino. Each sunrise brings new stories of loss, hope, recovery, and survival. It was an inspiring, if humbling, experience to walk with these pilgrims and share a part of the Camino together. As we would part ways to eat, or rest for the day, we would wish one another a Buen Camino!
The photographs in this show were taken while on the Camino de Santiago traveling from San Jean Pied de Port in southern France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain between 3 and 24 May 2014.
The prints in this exhibit are available for purchase and Kenneth Chadwick will donate all proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project (20-percent of over-all sale go to the Arlington Friends of the Arlington Public Library, to help support Library programs). If there is another charity that you would like to support with the purchase of art, please speak to the artist.