The scallop shell is a longstanding symbol of the Camino de Santiago. Its origins date back to Medieval times and now take on several different meanings:
- Fingers of an open hand. The Codex Calixtinus symbolizes the good deeds expected of a pilgrim along the way.
- Many pathways to Santiago. The lines of the shell represent the multiple routes of the Way convening in Santiago de Compostela.
- Lore of St. James. An old tale claims St. James saved a knight on horseback from falling into the ocean. The knight emerged from the sea covered in scallop shells.
Today, the scallop shell marks the Way, along with yellow arrows at every turn. Most travelers on the Camino also wear a shell on their backpack to mark themselves as pilgrims. We received a shell as a gift from the American Pilgrims of the Camino and it’s with us at all times.
We consider Hudson as our “second” shell. He brings out the goodness in others and he spurs them on. If he can do it, they can.
He’s our little tiny shell.