....To Santiago

Friday, May 5, 2017

Camino Stride

This is our third day of walking in Portugal and we are just beginning to get our Camino legs. Today was tough, 20 km with a big climb, on and off rain all day, but we sent our packs ahead of us which helped with speed and blisters.
More importantly we have begun to form a Camino family with a mother and son from the U.K.  We met them at the start of the second day as we were leaving the village of Rates.  We bonded almost instantly and are helping each other along the road.  We all sense that we are brought together for reasons that only the Camino itself knows.
There are signs that my personal pilgrimage has started with intensity:  I woke up the second day in Vila do Conde with a bout of self-pity which needed an immediate remedy.  As I was slinging my pack on for the first walk of the day in front of a small church, I stabbed my finger badly on the sprung safety pin that fastened my pilgrim scallop shell to the pack.  I cried out and called to Stuart to help me get a bandaid out of the first aid kit. As I stood nursing my bleeding finger, a gentleman walked across the square and approached me swiftly.  He spoke a few soothing words in a language I could not understand but his intention was clearly to offer kindnesss.  He extended his right hand towards me and I took his hand with my uninjured left hand and after a quick squeeze and a soft look into my eyes, he was gone.
I bandaged my finger and as I began to walk, the thought came to me that I had just encountered Santiago himself, who wanted me to know that I was in his care here on the Camino.  The next thought that arrived was that I was now to be prepared for whatever work or grace is destined to come my way as I walk the Way. I was deep in a prayerful inner dialogue when we met our first Camino friends, so now it begins.
We are at the famous Casa de Fernanda albergue this evening, having finished a communal dinner with eighteen pilgrims at one table, ending with rousing song and dance, and much rich conversation with pilgrims from around the world.  The Camino magic has begun!

1 comment:

  1. I think of you and Stuart every day. I pray for your health and safety. Thinking about the safety pin, I was reminded that the root for the words blessing and wound is the same.