It’s a rainy Saturday morning and am hanging out in the quiet trying to figure out things. I know that it is not going to come all at once or that I should force things to happen at a faster pace. I know but I just don’t want it to be Paradise Lost.
But we are Caminoheads, right? We keep going, that is what we do, one foot in front of the other. Part of going is recording what we do know, like taking photos along the way. What do we know?
I thought of three things that I know. Not only happened but hugely happened, you know what I mean? Over the top happened in unexpected ways and at surprising moments but happened enough times where I said yes I got the message.
One, my connection to the earth was vastly strengthened. Sometimes this was the most beautiful landscape in a cloudless sky say. Beauty was over the top for sure to the point where I didn’t know what to do with it, no existing category. But yet I am talking about something else. What I am getting at is the link that we have with the earth in the way that it provides us with sustenance. Obviously, the Spanish are no slouches when it comes to agriculture, as we saw everyday.
Start with the vast oceans of wheat and sunflowers that we waked through on the Meseta. And the vast fields of corn, sugar beets and potatoes that we saw along the rivers where irrigation was possible. Then there were the ever present backyard and empty lot family gardens in city and country with beans, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. And the huge piles of straw bales going off to be bedding for cows and pigs. It was all very impressive and Spain must be feeding half of Europe and us as we ate in the cafés along the way. Yea, totally underestimated the power of this.
Two, was the amazing connection and bonding that happened between folks. Folks from Netherlands, Italy, Australia, the States, Spain, you name it. We even had a great fellow, Sherrif, from Egypt in our group. People sharing ideas, insights, fears, you name it. People doctoring each other’s feet, sharing food, water, funds, carrying someone else’s pack when they couldn’t anymore, you name it. People watching out for each other as you would never leave anyone alone on the Meseta. Yea, totally under estimated the power of this.
Hey, and not to mention all the situations that we got in in all the albergues with their weird bathroom and sleeping set ups. Endless variety of awkward deals. At night at least eight people snoring, at least eight people rolling over on the squeaky springs, church bells ringing all night long. I remember having one ear plug and trying to figure out which ear to put it in. It forced us to realize that yes we irritate each other at the very same time that we need each other.
Third, my relationship with God was vastly improved. Not a sort of theoretical or far away feel but something close up and in the moment sort of improvement. In Spain along the Camino with all the pilgrims moving there almost always is a reminder of God and his posse on a person , or fence or building or shrine or a church or hilltop. Just a sort of constant reminder that God is always present in my/our lives. Once again totally under estimating the power of this.
Wrap that all up and you got a bundle. This is what I feel with the rain still coming down outside and my eyes saying how about nap time? Love you, Phil.
Growing food in Spain.
Fellow Pilgrim Eating Large Sandwich.