Where it all began for Pilgrim Farmer John and Pilgrim Felipe. Time flies so fast it’s worth the effort to revisit the “beginnings” of our most relished relationships. This Northwest Catholic Magazine cover of March, 2015 happened to be left in the waiting room of a hospital in Seattle when my life long friend, Tory, was visiting there. I had completed my Camino in 2013 and Tory was very much interested in the Camino story as she had plans for doing a portion of it also to celebrate her 70th birthday. So she found a copy of the magazine to send to me with Phil’s story in it. Yeah, I was pulled into the Phil vortex immediately, and why not? Such a story, such an experience, such an inspiration! I wanted to know this guy. And thus it began, with a (relatively) short intro from PFJ, the email that spawned a cascade of correspondence and the opening of the gates to all those who feel the same way I do about this guy. And what a ride it has been!
I, for one, would be interested in reading how all of you have been introduced into the ripples of the influence of this natural Pied Piper. What, or who, was the connector that got you pinging along with his natural cadence? We have all been inundated with the information of how this Pandemic has “connected” us all. I think this examination of how we have all come together, how each of our lives have become interconnected, is a nice mental antidote to that awfulness.
We are into Advent now, with the slow dawning of realization that our Christmas is going to be impacted as surely as all the other Holidays of 2020. Confirmation has been sent out that our much loved local Parish Cluster of three neighboring churches, all shepherded by our Beloved Fr. Bill (A Camino veteran himself!) will not be having in-church services for Christmas. Iowa has surpassed our peak in Covid cases from this spring even, and our Diocese has mandated on-line services only. It was a heartache to have this situation for Holy Week and Easter, and now for the emotional highlight of the year to fall under the same pall of pestilence is hard to bear. We are making plans to ensure that all the Grands feel more joy than sadness, and still do all we can to keep them all safe. I’m not sure how many days walk it was for Joseph and Mary and the donkey to get to Bethlehem, but the conditions of the time would have surely been stressful for them as well. And look how that all turned out. 😇
I’ve used up my word limit!
Advent Calendar #4:
Today reflect: where do you feel as a small fish in a big pond? Which are all the ways you can still grow and where do you find courage? Can you plan to do something that boosts your courage in your week?
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. Victor Hugo.
Thanks everyone, Felipé.