Moving through the green and cultural landscape along the Camino at a walking pace is a tonic. Coming from the “new world” where our idea of a heritage building is often less than 100 years, the tangible connection with the past is striking. In fact as a painter, it was tortuous to keep moving, when my instincts were screaming for me to stop and sketch.
My Camino was in May and this year the weather was unseasonably cool through most of the month. This cool weather delayed or extended the bloom of many plants and kept the landscape green and verdant. Green is a calming colour. Prisons and so called green rooms in theatres and television studios are painted green for its psychologically calming effect. It was a soothing experience to walk through those lush fields and forests. At times I felt I was drinking in the greens through my eyes and was constantly thinking about how I would mix paint to reflect the subtle range from blue to yellow hues of green as I walked.
There were a few overcast days on the Meseta especially on the long stretches between villages, where I started to take the landscape for granted. However form day to day and certainly over the weeks I passed though many different and often dramatic landscapes, usually accompanied by birdsong and drifts of wildflowers. How could that daily proximity to the natural worlds not be restorative to the spirit?