How does one speak to a ghost?

Like most public places in the United States these days, all the employees of the Museum have to wear the official photo I.D hanging from a lanyard round our necks.

Lanyards are commonly used to display badges for identification, where security is required. They are usually made of fabric with a clip attached to the end and the person’s name and photo facing the front.

The fabric on my lanyard is wide enough for a collection of little pins. I have the flag from my two previous countries (given to me by tourists), one from the Red Cross: “It’s my first time“, and one that says, Lucky Duck.

Camino pin


When I walked along the Camino I bought myself two pins. One with a yellow arrow, and one with the yellow arrow, shell and peregrina in the photo on the right ➔. While the yellow arrow sits exactly where I placed it, I’ve never been permitted to wear the latter one, it always falls off. Actually it doesn’t just fall off, I usually see it being pushed off. One time I watched it sail in front of me as I walked across the courtyard at the Museum.

school group near where my pin went flying

None of the other pins – I have about ten – have ever flown off like that.

I haven’t worn it for about a month.  The last time it flew off in the car (where it’s flown off more than once), I managed to catch the pin, but couldn’t find a backing piece until a few days ago. I put it back yesterday, making sure I’d pressed the backing on firmly, but after lunch when I noticed it wasn’t there  I found both pieces in the side pocket of my bag where I store the lanyard.

It took me a while, but I finally understand – and even the most skeptical person will have to acknowledge – there’s nothing wrong with the pin or the backing,  someone from the other side is trying to tell me something, and though I can’t hear the message I assume that it’s something to do with the Camino, and the only way to get my attention is to remove that Camino button.

I feel deaf and blind. I wish I could hear, and understand the message.

Am I being reminded how much I accomplished by walking? How I loved the freedom? How beautiful it was? I’ll never forget any of it.

Or perhaps I’m being told I don’t need to stand behind a cash register, I can be free here too?

Or perhaps …

A field next to the path early one morning along the Camino.

I feel their frustration… And mine.

I wasn’t going to share this, but I have in the hope that one of you can help me work out the message.


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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33 Responses to How does one speak to a ghost?

  1. larooby says:

    My two cents: Someone is telling you to look harder, look deeper, look further for the prize that is your Camino. It’s not to be worn with all the other ‘flash’ – it has a significance that is apart from all the other things you’ve collected. That difference is for you to explore…

    • dearrosie says:

      ooh I like your interpretation Larooby. Thanks for joining in the discussion. It’s true that the Camino shouldn’t be confused with anything else I’ve done. I wonder whether it’ll be allowed to remain if I take off all the other pins?

  2. Val says:

    Wish I could help, but I’m clueless about this sort of thing, these days.

  3. omg…I guess it’s a sign…but I just don’t know the message. Sorry.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Georgette,
      Thanks for joining the discussion.

      When I posted this I didn’t know what reaction I’d get from my readers. I’m glad to know that you agree with me that I’ve been getting a message. I hope it doesn’t take too long for me to work it out.

  4. Priya says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    While I do not know the answer, I daresay I know how you feel. I’ve been regularly thinking about you and your walk, and how you felt you ‘just had to do it’. I feel the same way about writing a publishable story (to begin with) and every time the urge begins to bother too much (why should I? I must first concentrate on my baby. I can’t do both. Is it the right thing to do? ….) I think of your ‘just had to do it’.
    If you explore deeper about why you just had to do it, you’ll probably make the pin stay with pride on your lanyard. Wishing you (and myself) all the very best.

    • dearrosie says:

      Salaam Priya
      Oh my god that’s such a beautiful comment. Thank you for joining the conversation. I’m going to take all the pins off my lanyard and wear one that says “I just had to do it”

      It makes me happier than happy to know that my walking along the Camino can inspire you all the way in India to write your book. 🙂 I know you’re serious and that you’re going to do it!

      by the way I like your new gravatar image. Where are you walking? Is that a steep slope on the right of the photo?

      • Priya says:

        This gravatar image is from the days when I was in college. The steps led to a waterfall that filled up (fell down, rather) in monsoon. Beautiful place. And yes, that is a steep slope on the right.

  5. I think i’s wonderful that you’re asking the question, Rosie! I notice things like this sometimes, too, and wonder what I’m being told! I think I’d take it as an encouragement to think about the lessons and the benefits learned on your wonderful Camino trek…and you are to carry that confidence with you every single day. It was such an adventurous and really singular experience, it probably has changed your perspective on so many things. Celebrate that every day even from behind a cash register. You watch! People will begin to notice! 🙂 Debra

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Debra,
      I’m glad to hear you also notice these things so I’m not alone…. I feel as if I’ve been sleeping all these years and having just woken up, I’m frustrated that I can’t hear the answer.

      Walking along the Camino did change my perspective on many things and you’re right that people are noticing.

      Thank you for joining in the discussion.

  6. Someone is definitely trying to tell you something, no doubt. I’ve had similar things happen to me.At first I think it’s a sign from someone from ‘the other side’. But then, I wonder, if it’s not (in a strange way) me giving myself a sign? That my higher soul is trying to prompt me or push me into a certain direction? (I hope you know what I mean by this!) Perhaps your soul is trying to remind you that you are on the right path in life. I could go on and on, Rosie, as I believe in spirit guides, guardian angels and psychic phenomena.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello Darla,
      Thank you for joining the discussion. We’ve had a couple of discussions in the past months about our shared beliefs in spirit guides, guardian angels and psychic phenomena, and I’m glad to hear your response.

      I’m sure all of the above is true. It’s a sign from the other side, but it is also, as you say
      “… my higher soul is trying to prompt me or push me into a certain direction? “

      I can’t say why, but I don’t think I’m being reminded that I’m on the right path – if I was I feel the pin would’ve remained in it’s place without moving – but I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I guess I’ll know I’m on the right path when the pin isn’t pushed off!

  7. I would be looking for the message, too, Rosie. Could it be as simple as you need to keep looking for something or someone? (I would be thinking an ancestor wanted me to discover her on the family tree…) Maybe walking the Camino was only the first step on some greater journey you need to make… I wonder if one of your ancestors, unknown to you, also walked the Camino?

    Sometimes when a bird or animal comes to me with a message I also get the feeling that it is an important message and yet I cannot decipher it. Sometimes the meaning only becomes apparent months or years later.

    The photo of the field next to the path is breathtaking. The dawn draping the field in a soft light of peace and serenity.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Barbara,
      I’m glad you joined in the conversation. I think you’re right hat the Camino was the first step on a greater journey I need to make. I didn’t think of that. Like you I’ve been working on family tree research for many years, and I’d so love to be able to spend more time traveling and researching it all, but I don’t think that’s all I’m supposed to be doing.

      I doubt I’ll ever be able to learn which – if any – of my ancestors had walked the Camino, but I was told by a psychic that I’ve been trying to walk to Santiago since the Middle Ages. I don’t know why I had to wait such a long time.

      So true and very good advice that sometimes we have to wait a while to understand the meaning of the message. If that’s what I have to do, I can wait patiently.

      Glad you liked the photo. I don’t know what’s growing in that field, it could be weeds, but the light was so meditative and the scene so peaceful I had to take out my camera and photograph it.

  8. Wow, you are brave to have all your loyal readers leap in to give their interpretations of this mysterious phenomena! I agree with Larooby and believe that your Camino walk is different from your other pursuits .. it’s so much deeper and more of YOU .. and so of course, it’s not going to be content laying on your vest with all your other everyday symbols. Why don’t you put it on a jacket you wear when you’re doing your beautiful Pacific Coast trails with Mr. F .. or walking your dogs… or doing something that gives you something of the same feelings of freedom and contentment that you felt on the Camino … and then see what happens. Maybe it will still fly away — or maybe it will feel at home and like staying tethered to you, sweet walker friend!

    • dearrosie says:

      Dear Betty,
      I don’t think I’m brave, just frustrated. I believe that whoever is responsible for knocking my pin off wants me to get advice. I was pleasantly surprised when I was permitted to post this. I thought it would end up disappearing just like a post I tried to write last year (and had to re-write half a dozen times).
      It took me way too long to realize what was going on with the pin, and now that I do, I want to understand the message.

      It’s a good idea to put the pin on my jacket, but it’ll be months before we need to wear jackets in Southern California and I’m too impatient to wait.

      But here’s the update: after I photographed the pin it disappeared. I can’t find it.

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    I think it’s the fault of Congress.

  10. shoreacres says:

    Well, I can’t offer any interpretation or advice, Rosie, because I simply don’t believe some ghostly or spiritual presence is messing with your pin or sending you a message.

    On the other hand, it makes perfect sense to me that the underlying issue – holding on to your pin, as a symbol of the experience – is critically important. All of us try to hold on to important experiences in our life, and sometimes we can freeze the flow of life by trying to linger in the past.

    If I were to let my imagination play a bit, I might suggest that your pin is trying to tell you that holding on to your past experience isn’t as important as following the Camino into the future. Who knows where the path will lead?

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Linda,
      I thought there’d be more skeptics leaving their comments. I’m delighted to welcome your thoughts to the discussion.

      If you don’t believe a spiritual presence is messing with my pin what caused it to fly off my lanyard not once but about four or five times?
      And why didn’t the other pins fly off too?
      And why did I see it flying off every time? I’ve lost many pins but I only realize too late to find them.

      Your sentence:
      “holding on to your past experience isn’t as important as following the Camino into the future”
      is the answer.

      Thank you Linda.

  11. It could mean anything but I would like to think it means something good and exciting. Like being free, of finding happiness and contentment, of better things to come, of moving on . Sounds like I wishing for myself the same. ha, ha, ha. Wonderful post. Have a great day my friend.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello IT,
      Thank you for joining the discussion. I like the good and exciting message ie

      “Being free, of finding happiness and contentment, of better things to come, of moving on…”

      Once I accept that I have it, I’ll be able to pass it on and you’ll be the first person I give it to.

  12. sybil says:

    And now it’s missing ? I liked the suggestions to wear it without the other pins and see what happens. Maybe you’re spoz’d to go back to the Camino to get another one ?

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for taking part in the discussion Sybil. J’adore your suggestion that I should go back to the Camino to get another one. I can’t think of anything I’d like to do more right now… Merci.

  13. munchow says:

    Maybe it just says you ought to carry the experience from the Camino inside of you. It’s a spiritual experience that cannot be expressed by a mere pin? I don’t know, of course, but it’s a interesting and fun thought. I also like shoreacres suggestion.

    • dearrosie says:

      Glad you joined in the discussion Otto. It’s true that once you walk the Camino you’ll always carry that experience inside you, and really it can’t be expressed by a pin…. so why do I bother trying to put it on my lanyard?

  14. souldipper says:

    If it were me? I’d ask for some insights in a meditation to see what comes. Ainslie MacLeod, a psychic who wrote, The Instruction, told us at different times on our Soul Safari in Africa that there are pesky souls on the other side who can be nuisances. He claims that “drunk Uncle Charlie” can be just as much a pest from the other side as he was here.

    So, I believe…It’s best to ask for insights from the highest sources who share your deepest love. Then any insight will likely cause you to say, “I knew that!” We do carry the connection/knowing deep within ourselves.

    Fun mystery, Rosie!

    • dearrosie says:

      I was hoping you’d join the conversation Amy, because I knew you’d have much wisdom to share. Thank you. I’m happy you enjoyed the little mystery.

      I hadn’t heard about “drunk Uncle Charlie” still being a pest! Goodness even on the other side eh!

      The interesting thing is once I asked the question and read the comments, I understood the message and knew the answer. And I was correct, because I’ve been “permitted” to wear the pin the whole week. The backing fell off once when I “forgot”.

  15. I’m not going to try and interpret…but I did just spend a whole lotta time reading everyone else’s responses – so interesting!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Anne
      It’s been an interesting experience for me. First step was simply to accept and acknowledge that the pin wasn’t falling off but being thrown just to get my attention

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