Walking Home A Pilgrimage from Humbled To Healed along the Camino de SantiagoA Pilgrimage from Humbled To Healed along the Camino de Santiago

Sonia Choquette New York Times best-selling author of The Answer is Simple …. 

343 pages, B&W illustrations

Review:  Julia Cameron, author of The Artists Way

“Sonia Choquette has a pilgrim’s ardour.  Join her on the trail to an authentic self. Witness her passion and her humility.  Prepare yourself to be inspired.  Every footstep, every word, is a blessing.” 

Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series

“… is real, raw, and honest.  As she walks an ancient pilgrimage to work through her 

devastating loss, grief, and abandonment, she finds the way back to a place of genuine

forgiveness and healing.  As we, the reader, walk with her, we find the same for ourselves.”

 

My Review: Sonia takes us through her Part 1: The Humbling.  This first 12 chapters tell her life at that time ie ‘Death’ to the moment when under her breath, as she settles into her final flight, her seat, says “Let the adventure being”‘ before arrival at Biarritz for her taxi, the last leg before her chapter, ‘Get Ready, Get Set’ to where in Part 11:  The Healing begins from Day 1 in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles,  with each days walk with Sonia, right through to Day 34 of her  final days walk, from Amenal to Santiago de Compostella.  Sonia stirs our appetites , instils a longing to do this Camino for ourselves as at the beginning of each chapter we see the kilometres set out before us, meet the people she meets, enjoy hours of silence, crawl into a village, town after a 24 kms walk that day, find a hostel, pass out.  Sonia admits leaving at crack of dawn some days, finds a place for her Passport to be stamped, prays for help to get through the difficult days when needing to walk on a highway, needing energy to keep going.  Sonia sings songs, hymns, admits to talking to herself, asks forgiveness for pain she may have caused to anyone back home, gradually frees herself.  In between we sympathise with her as she is grateful for her walking poles, yet struggles to find new sandals, doctors her feet, downs pills to ease the pain, admitting that “The Camino was not only the path of forgiveness, it was also a path of great intention.  To make this pilgrimage, one had to have great faith, as the challenges medieval pilgrims met along the route were often life threatening.”  On another section of the walk Sonia cites her thoughts, complaints, yet acknowledges the more she walked, the more apparent it became that while there were things that made her unhappy, they were not at the root of what burdened her, her own fears, anger, not trusting others, need to do the work she was taught to do as that is what love looked like, how she needed to get away.  Sound familiar?

Sonia at one stop sees a deck of cards called The Way, picks one up, sees they are insights from previous pilgrims, and reads “Don’t fear the criticisms of others.”  “That piece of advice made me think.”  “This was the day to leave the past behind and open my heart to living fully and freely in the present.”  No wonder there are some books we can’t put down. Sonia doesn’t leave us there.  We move forward, Sonia is now on Day 32, a 28 km day, heading this chapter on ‘Transition’. “Transition times are dangerous.  If you don’t stay focused, crazy things can happen.”  She reflects on the gifts the Camino has given her.  What are they?  Perhaps it is time to plan your own journey ie after reading Sonia’s ‘Walking Home’.

YR Sojourner