Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Roughing it in Red Silk

Somehow silk, especially red silk, has a reputation.
People associate red silk with passion and sensuality.
Yet as I prepare for my 40 days on the Camino, I find myself filling my packing list with silk items.
When you carry everything you own on your back, it must be practical and lightweight, but why shouldn't it reflect beauty and grace too? Why can't the functional be fabulous?
From underwear to socks and sleeping bag liners, silk offers a practical, strong, lightweight, delightful touch of class to a pilgrim's life. And it launders and drys quickly too!
When Spouse and I lived in Ukraine, I lived in my black silk undershirt. That shirt also stayed on my back throughout our adventures in rural, northern Malawi. I plan to take one (or two) with me on the Way of St James.
The latest addition to my Camino inventory is a lovely, red silk travel bag. (Thank you romantic Mr. S. Claus!) It will keep my sleeping bag cleaner and will also add about ten degrees of extra warmth to my bag. The bold red will certainly cheer me up on grey spring days after my long hikes through mud and over mountains.
I can also drape my silk liner artfully around my neck as a functional scarf or as a shawl for post-hike dining adventures - a real fashion accessory. It may also function as a modest wrap to get me through the challenges of sharing public showers and bathrooms. And if I am in a lower bunk and feel so inclined, I can tuck it under the upper bunk to provide me with a modicum of privacy...a cozy red tent to hole up in.
And why shouldn't there be a little passion in life on the Camino? (Ever read Chaucer?)
This red silk will live a full rich life and so will I!
{Photo credit: @ Virginia J. Pulver, Santa Fe 2009}


Anonymous said...

I agree 100%--we´ve lived in our silk longjohns and are doing so now(silk with cashmere, c/o Wintersilks)and silk undies from Mary Green online--and silk sleep-sheets.Weigh nothing,dry fast--but none in red yet. Gottalook for some! Blessings on your journey--

Teri said...

I had a silk sack that I took along. It was wonderful and very "comforting" to have my personal self with me every day. Another thing that I took, for warmth (I didn't take a sleeping bag - fall) was a length of fleece. I found, upon returning home, the fleece was a transitional "security" blanket. Bridging my secret world, the Camino, back to my reality.

So excited for you and your journey - Teri

Virginia said...

Elyn - silk longjohns sound like an oxymoron don't they? For years I have "lived" in my silk t-shirt as an underlayer to my street clothes. Not only does it keep me cozy and comfortable, it keeps my street clothes fresher.

And with my silk sleep sack (re: Teri) I will be quite elegant!

Thanks for the blessings Elyn...

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