SMILES From SPAIN! – Mary Howell

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Everyday holds for me some very special surprises and synchronicities and other days there are even more – a wonderful almost continuous flow that delights you to opening up to more of life and making connections with others.

It was a day like this that I met Mary.  We were in the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela having just participated in the mass and special Archicofradia De Santiago Medal Ceremony when I heard my named called out as Mary Howell approached me.  She quickly introduced herself to me that she had heard my name called out when we both were sharing in the ceremony.  It was so kind of her to say hello, introduce herself and share that she knew me through my blog – thank you. Mary I wish we had had our picture taken together – next time you are hear we will share in some more special times in Santiago!

Mary has a beautiful and inspiring Camino story – I hope you will enjoy as I have – thank you again Mary!

Dear Susan,
I love the way you sign your self… Smiles from Spain.  That is how I feel about Spain and what it does for me.

Where to start?
I have wanted to write, be a writer, for a long time. Like most of those ambitions, ‘life’ gets in the way.  A decision to move to Wales to look after my mother, and perhaps just work part time proved instrumental. Because only those who speak Welsh can teach in schools in
wales and there is only call for teaching Welsh language, so my two mainstays for earning a living as an infant schoolteacher and as a language teacher were stymied. Should have done my homework.  But then suddenly I had the space I needed.

I knew about the Camino from an early age. 16 years old may be, travelling in Spain with my mother and a man handed me a little red pamphlet with wonderful pictures of the saint in stone.  I kept the pamphlet with other keepsakes for thirty years and gradually ceased to look at it.

Then at a very troubled time in my life, ten years or so ago, when I thought some clearing out would perhaps be cathartic, the Brochure found its way to the top of the pile and positively shouted out.  Now is the time.
I had an empty nest, two children through university, just and one just starting, I had a dead end job and to be honest was not enjoying many aspects of my life.

The walk, the effort, the joy of the experience and the people I met, I have tried to capture in the novel, Murielle’s Angel.  A first novel, so of course it is based on all the people I know well, but each character is a composite, a mix and match, so no one character is any one person and none of the events happened as written although something like.

I was prompted to join  the English Confraternity a year ago because a friend wanted me to walk a little with her. That was when I discovered Global Pilgrims too. The English confraternity
news letter asked for volunteer hospitaleros in Santiago for this summer and that is how I came to be here again. I walked three hundred kilometres of the Camino del Norte and then took a bus to be here in time for my stint, met Johnnywalker as well as the lovely Danny who runs the Albergue De peregrinos final del Camino.

He asked me if I would like to receive the medal and of course I said yes.  It was an honour. And there you were too. I don’t know if this is something that happens once a year or because it was nearly St James ‘ feast day and I was just very lucky.

As for being in the square waiting for the fireworks and hearing of the train crash.  What a sadness for the town and the families.
I am trying to send some photos, but they are on my camera and will not be downloaded till I get home at the end of the week.  If I can manage any pics before then I sell surely try.  Until then here is my reply and Thanks for the offer of the blog spot.

I have been blogging myself , although still relatively new to it.
http://maryjhowell.wordpress.com
And my book Murielle’s Angel is available certainly on Amazon.

Smiles from Spain!
Mary

Dear Susan,
I love the way you sign your self… Smiles from Spain.  That is how I feel about Spain and what it does for me.

Where to start?
I have wanted to write, be a writer, for a long time. Like most of those ambitions, ‘life’ gets in the way.  A decision to move to Wales to look after my mother, and perhaps just work part time proved instrumental. Because only those who speak Welsh can teach in schools in
wales and there is only call for teaching Welsh language, so my two mainstays for earning a living as an infant schoolteacher and as a language teacher were stymied. Should have done my homework.  But then suddenly I had the space I needed.

I knew about the Camino from an early age. 16 years old may be, travelling in Spain with my mother and a man handed me a little red pamphlet with wonderful pictures of the saint in stone.  I kept the pamphlet with other keepsakes for thirty years and gradually ceased to look at it.

Then at a very troubled time in my life, ten years or so ago, when I thought some clearing out would perhaps be cathartic, the Brochure found its way to the top of the pile and positively shouted out.  Now is the time.
I had an empty nest, two children through university, just and one just starting, I had a dead end job and to be honest was not enjoying many aspects of my life.

The walk, the effort, the joy of the experience and the people I met, I have tried to capture in the novel, Murielle’s Angel.  A first novel, so of course it is based on all the people I know well, but each character is a composite, a mix and match, so no one character is any one person and none of the events happened as written although something like.

I was prompted to join  the English Confraternity a year ago because a friend wanted me to walk a little with her. That was when I discovered Global Pilgrims too. The English confraternity
news letter asked for volunteer hospitaleros in Santiago for this summer and that is how I came to be here again. I walked three hundred kilometres of the Camino del Norte and then took a bus to be here in time for my stint, met Johnnywalker as well as the lovely Danny who runs the Albergue De peregrinos final del Camino.

He asked me if I would like to receive the medal and of course I said yes.  It was an honour. And there you were too. I don’t know if this is something that happens once a year or because it was nearly St James ‘ feast day and I was just very lucky.

As for being in the square waiting for the fireworks and hearing of the train crash.  What a sadness for the town and the families.
I am trying to send some photos, but they are on my camera and will not be downloaded till I get home at the end of the week.  If I can manage any pics before then I sell surely try.  Until then here is my reply and Thanks for the offer of the blog spot.

I have been blogging myself , although still relatively new to it.
http://maryjhowell.wordpress.com
And my book Murielle’s Angel is available certainly on Amazon.

Smiles from Spain!
Mary

The Camino inspires in so many ways and each story has the power to transform, empower and help us on our Camino Journey of Life:  You can learn more of Mary’s story by visiting: http://www.amazon.com/Murielles-Angel-Mary-J-Howell/dp/1907090835/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375342711&sr=8-1&keywords=murielle%27s+angel

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