Camino: God Winks with Shells

Fellow traveler, we’ve got another week in the books! We’ve traveled all through this last week in February, so drinks all around! But are you weary? Tired of carrying your burdens and the worries that our world has brough to us this week? I hope the next three minutes will be a break from all that weight, and leave you more refreshed and rejuenated for the next leg of your journey.

Last week I shared I discovered shells all along the gravel paths on Mt. Mitchell. They were mussel shells.

Keep reading to see the discovery and more pictures!

The mussel shells lit up my internal lightbulb.

Earlier in “A Hero Dies” I had seized the idea to mimic the Camino de Santiago’s emblem. Taking the scallop design, and instead of blue and gold colors, I used blue and white for Our Lady.

Et voilà: the Camino de Immaculata emblem!

But some days later on Mt. Mitchell, it felt like God was winking at me, encouraging that work with an exciting connection. The humble little mussel shells which we find all around our ponds and some streams would be the Kansas Camino Shell!

So, I collected the shells (you can see them just barely in the picture below) and went back home to do a little research on the origin of the Camino shell and the little mussel shells I had found.

There are many legends as to how the scallop became such an internationally recognized symbol, but this one was my favorite:

It turns out the scallop, viera, is a mollusk that abounds in the coastal area of Compostella, Spain. When the body of St. James the Apostle came ashore in 44AD, through his intercession a young man was miraculously saved from drowning, and that young man came rising out of the sea, covered in scallops.

Since then the scallop is THE symbol of the Camino de Santiago and is used as a marker all along the routes. Pilgrims used to be given the scallop with a red cross when they completed their pilgrimage to Campestello and back again, but now it’s common to see any pilgrim from the Camino with his scallop shell.

That scallop has practical uses too, one of them being great little drinking containers!

Two dear friends walked the Camino twice; one of my favorite pictures they showed me is one of the friends holding her shell underneath a wine vending machine as a cup because they had no other thing to use! She said it worked quite well, especially at the end of a long day on the trail, and it certainly was a unique experience getting wine from a container that looked like a soft serve ice cream machine!

Back to the Kansas shells…

So I looked up the humble little shells and found that they were a type of freshwater mussel common to parts of northeastern Kansas. What was unique about it was it’s function in its watery homes. They help purify the water systems they are found in -bringing better life to their surroundings!

I found this like Our Lady in a way -she brings Life itself into the world!

So, I played around with the design of the Camino de Immaculata logo a little more (it’s still evolving), as you can see in the slideshow below:

Whick do you like the best?

I summarized the findings and the ‘evolving’ growth of the emblem within the travelogue:

At the end the walk on Mt. Mitchell I went back to the path of the daily grind much more refreshed. And after later exploring and contemplating my new finds, I was doubly strengthened -in the same way one is after they’ve seen the ocean or a beautiful view.

If you have both your physical eye and your mind’s eye open to see, there are so many neat ‘travel highlights’ one can find even on the darkest of days.

W-w-wait, you say? Where are the rest of the highlights? Well I thought I’d try something different and just give you one highlight from my travelogue instead of all the four angles. Do you prefer this way? Let me know!

Until then, have a lovely weekend, wherever you are. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers as I walk this path up to the New Immaculata, on the actual trail, and within my heart.

Thank you so much for reading! Do let me know if you like this simple one highlight approach!

Wondering how to live more on the inside? How to set out on a path and ascend the heights? Well, I’ll hold back from gushing more a this point and recommend the following books (When you click the picture-link above, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Click and you’re the best!)

The above book is one of my dearest friends, and has traveled with me on many a far journey. It pushes me to travel more within as I am without.

The above book is an approachable way to go within, and launch out living everyday already where you want to be. It is written more for women, so…men, there’s good stuff, but you might prefer another book about her.

The Immaculata on 2/20/22

2 thoughts on “Camino: God Winks with Shells

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