The Camino Frances with Astorga pointed out.
Here is our guest blogger for today! Please give him a big hand!
RON FROM ASTORGA
I hope this memory has the ability to tuck a seed into the soil of your life and that you continue “Mother Henning it along.”
I took the hospitalero training offered in the US by the APOC organization before moving to Spain with the thought that I could volunteer. I lived in Virginia and, of course, the training was near San Francisco.
The 19 students and two teachers bonded immediately with Camino glue and began the first exercise. A long roll of brown paper hung horizontally on the wall of the training room with a line representing the path of the Camino Frances. We were all seated in a curved line facing the map as one instructor gave us instructions and the other gave us a red and a green sticky dot.
The instructions were to think of the highest point on our personal Camino during quiet time going over that in your own mind. Do it yourself right now!
I struggled. Everyone did, thinking back to a period full of high points.
The silence was broken by the instructor asking us to think of the lowest point on our Camino. Again, some quiet time.
Silence was broken and the task was to walk up to that paper map, one at a time, and place the green dot where you had the highest point, explain it and then the red dot for the lowest point, explain it. They started from the right, I was thrilled to be number 14. Where did these things happen? I’m not much on geography. Some explained in great detail and some were very brief. There were some tears.
I was close to next. Everyone was nailing it: stuck the green dot, told the story, placed the red dot and explained.
The person to my right walked up and was very brief.
I was next.
I still had no idea.
So I asked for help finding the places. I told them a few things about the place and almost all exclaimed “Agés” in unison. The same for the red dot and they exclaimed “Logroño.” I made it!
No spoilers – take the training to find out the rest!
However, you don’t know the highest point of life when it’s happening, nor the lowest point. I’ve used the hang-nail parable that reminds me that though a hang-nail is really annoying and hard to ignore, it is nothing compared to other conditions like cancer, or even spring allergies. But if all is well except that darn fingernail we can overreact and feel sorry for ourselves.
Think again of the high point of your Camino, and the process that you went through to select just one, and realize that at each of those points along the Way you were really stoked and joyful. The same is true today, be mindful and recognize the high points on your journey, knowing you’re free to squeeze every drop of goodness from them to share with others.
If you are struggling now with the low point and no juice is coming from your effort, keep your eyes up as another high point is ahead. You might get some lemonade from the blessing beside you.
Stick your red dot someplace in memory and then gaze upon the location where you will stick your green dot. Take a moment to fold over an edge of that green dot so that you can peel it up and move it to your next high point.
We wish you joy from Astorga where Spring is showing beauty and creation refreshed all around us. Keep on walking!
Stick Dot Loves,