Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A Pilgrim's Life
8 hours-30.4 km
Day 15-Villasirga-Caldadilla de la Cueza
7 hours-23.3 km
Today was easy walking, but only one place to stop in the morning, then endless flat monotonous golden fields with no place to stop. It seemed to take forever to get to our destination.
A Pilgrim's life is much more than a long hard walk each day. Once at our destination we must find a Pilgrim hostel to stay at, which is usually easy as most are right along the Camino.
We get our credential stamped and dated and then claim our bed; almost always in very crowded bunkrooms.
A good hot shower is next, but sometimes it is a cold shower. None the less, we are grateful even for a cold shower to wash off the hard work and the dust of the trail.
Because we only carry one change of clothes, each day we hand wash our clothes outside the hostel in cold water.
We hope for sunshine and a breeze to dry them, but if not, the next morning we pin them to our backpack and become a walking clothesline. We are always walking westward with the sun on our back, so they dry quickly.
The next order of business is to tend to our tired, aching, blistered and swollen feet. Some Pilgrims have such severe feet problems that I don't know how they make it from one day to the next.
If we are lucky there is a Pilgrim meal. If not, we try to find a place to buy something to cook. Sometimes it is very limited, other times there is nothing. If there is a kitchen in the hostel it has only one stove or no stove and just a microwave. And everything is first come first serve. So we may not get to use the stove or micro or all the pans are in use so we can't cook.
But we all go with the flow and somehow we all manage.
By now we're are exhausted and ready for a good night sleep, but not before some good conversation and stories and some good Rioja wine.
We are up long before the sun to start all over again.
We are grateful for small kindnesses. We share in each others pain and sorrow and joys.
Two days ago when we were with two young girls from Slovakia, they got the tragic news that their 19 year old cousin was killed in an accident. We wept with them and shared their grief.
Today while we had lunch with a young girl from Ireland, she received news that her friend just delivered triplet girls. We wept tears of joy with her.
So today my prayers have been for the soul of a young Slovakian whose life has been cut short and who l will never know and for the joyful beginning of the lives of 3 little Irish triplets who I will never meet.
Life is a precious thing and we are all part of one human family.
I leave you with one beautiful word
(It means "When the God in me greets the God in you, we are one"
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry