Modern Camino Trends Could It Become A New Tradition?
Candados, in spanish, or Locks that were popular in Paris and other european cities have been making their way to Santiago de Compostela. Having noticed this in 2011 and seeing it continue one reflects on the traditions, symbols, their origin and beginnings. We are all familiar with the yellow arrow or “flecha’s” which have helped pilgrims along the french way that were the idea and creation of the Pastor of O’Cebreiro Elías Valiña in the laste 1970’s and 1980’s and has become one of the most recognizable symbols of the camino. Other important symbols are the shell or “concha”, the wood “bastones” or walking sticks, the natural gords, the act of leaving a stone or the creation small stone pyramids that dot the camino made by the pilgrims passing by and some adding to what was created by others, as well as, the large stone markers that help to encourage as they mark the kilometers remaining. All have their different beginnings, history and unique stories that are a part of the camino and stir a different yet collective feeling in all of us.
Are these LOCKS OF LOVE symbols and signs that will continue to make their mark in Santiago de Compostela as a sign of peregrinos having completed their journey and their LOVE FOR THE CAMINO. Or will they be a passing phase to be remembered by those who made the gesture. Special and unique to their own personal experience like leaving the stone at Cruz de Faro near Foncebdón as a sign of leaving your burdens behind. All symbols are special and have a personal meaning to those who participate in the gesture. A ritual with lasting significance to those who share in the experience keeping the memory of the reflection before, during and after their camino journey. Only time will tell what symbols remain and what new ones will share some space in time and in the hearts of pilgrims as they make their way to Santiago and what they will take back with them in their hearts as they return home with the memories of this life transforming and empowering adventure. Bo Camiño!