Camino #22 – Charlie is my Darling…

After having read my 16th book on the Camino, I realize that many pilgrims name their backpacks. Sonia Choquette author of “Walking Home” named the pack she sent ahead with a transport company “Cheater” because she knew she was cheating a bit by not carrying everything with her. She called her day pack, “Pilgrim” because it walked everyday with her.

Dennis Granhum, author of “Toward Beauty” called his backpack “Gregory” – a name the manufacturer had given it. I can’t remember any other authors with the same inclination, but I like the idea. So today, I have christened my backpack, “Charlie.” It’s a name that has run through my life many times. Both my father and my brother were Charlies. One of my favourite books is John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charlie.” My mother named me after my father. The closest she came was Carol after the German Karl. I really wanted to be called Charley. A good friend named her daughter Charley – I love her name!!

A Sunny Day for a Walk with Charlie

Colloquially we use the term “Charlie Horse” for a leg cramp and closely related is the term “Shanks Mare” meaning to get to a place by walking. The title of the post is from a song about Charles Edward Stuart – a.k.a. known as Bonnie Prince Charlie – young pretender to the throne of Scotland defeated at Culloden 1746. I have a Scottish flag on my backpack.

OK, I know I’m walking in Iberia – Portugal/Spain. Why the Scottish/American associations? I’m not sure why. I guess I’m an incurable romantic. I hate to think of borders and eras. If I could, I would live in a place that merged the past with the present. There would be no borders. Everyone would travel freely everywhere. We would communicate in a common language, and we would be at peace.

Buen Camino

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