Camino de Santiago—Day 1
St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles
I stepped out ‘into’ the morning—the sun MAKING its WAY splashing hues of pink and orange upon the snow covered mountains. The air—pleasantly crisp and I sang the tune which came to me and which I penned a while ago in preparation for THIS very moment… (and every day forward).
Christ all around me
Christ beside me
Christ within me—Alleluia
Christ all around…all around me!
Christ beside me…beside me!
Christ within me…within me!
The words barely broke through my lips—tears held for a simple moment.
This CHRIST I knew was WALKING with me. NOW, if you’re NOT religious I said to myself, I’m NOT speaking of that CHRIST. AND—if you are religious YES, I’m speaking of THAT Jesus WHO TRANSFORMED the world in His humanness.
He dared to walk a path true unto Himself—
Could I try in this time to ‘look’ ‘inward’ and ‘see’ ‘outward’ the divine incarnation in EVERYTHING? Yes, even in me—THIS living breathing temple…
A couple hours into the walk, I felt calm, peace—a certain adrenaline rush ‘bursting’ through me. My dearest Buddhist friend entered my HEART space, “Every single step you are taking Sandy IS exactly where you are meant to be.”
Such freedom. And, I ask, “Who am I?” “Who am I God in relation to/with YOU?” This is who I AM…I’m not changing language to be politically correct. This is MY WALK with
the ONE I love.
I’m walking through Heaven’s door—openings EVERYWHERE. I’m so mindful of this HERMIT’S desire…I’ve cared and loved persons a lifetime OFTEN loving me last or NOT talking the moments to LOVE me.
I’m certainly not anti-social. I embrace the energy within me that draws persons closer & closer & closer.
I know when I’m breaking open story—referencing Scripture, I see in the eyes before me such a desire AND then my desire BECOMES a flame. It’s as if I cannot stop pouring out a LOVE message from the ONE whom I often see to be a MIGHTY TREE…roots down, down, down, unseen, untouchable. They plunge ‘into’ the CORE of the Universe and call—“hurry, hurry—you’re so, so close.” I’ve hung in the branches, changed by the seasons AND this TIME the story is being told to me.
I’m trying to listen—
I’ve listened to others—TRULY listened.
So often it exhausts me—this ART of truly LISTENING.
Yes, I know what the presentation I share GIVES—it’s a lure and persons want connection, community. AS much as I feel it, I RUN to SILENCE because I am drained by the barrage of NEEDS (pastoral care/spiritual direction in daily doses).
And I cry OUT, “It’s yours.”
“IT’S IN YOU”—“BELIEVE”—why all this UNBELIEF?
Endless returns to retreats that last a few weeks—and then persons go back to their WAYS awaiting another chance for a fix. ‘You have it inside you’…I say to myself as I walk.
The scene has changed…
Snow has blanketed the path…mud sucks my boots into the soil—my body aches—every part of me feels its ALIVENESS.
While I said I would be silent, he came upon me. He needed to share with me his physical aches. I listened and then STOPPED long enough to thank him for joining me. I paused for a few moments to gather my ‘bag’ of SOLACE! He pressed on and my entire BEING lifted into the clouds…
The pack on my back carries my earthly needs…we are ONE and I call her Pilgrim Perk. The name has endearing qualities for what it carries. I’m going to hold this sentence as SOME things simply need not be written.
I walk alongside countless others. I knew I was stepping in the same tracks made by hundreds, thousands of pilgrims who made THIS WAY…all for their own reasons.
I sensed those who departed this world lurking behind trees, singing in the rush of the majestic river that has run alongside me ALL day.
I know I’m NEVER alone because the very nearness of those I sat beside, as a Chaplain, are ALWAYS near. They don’t speak audibly—still I sense their BEING. I look up—the mix of snow and rain falling, drenching me to the bone. Although the sky lay hidden and the night’s stars have yet to beam, I’m mindful of our brothers and sisters who lead us to a Native American Spirituality. From their depths, they ‘see’ the stars NOT as stars, but as CAMP FIRES. Our ancient ancestors light The Way…teach us to listen and let go when time calls.
For NOW—LOOK to Luna…don’t get caught on the finger pointing to the LIGHT—behold the Light. As I close my eyes this very NIGHT—even with my lids closed I see, I feel, I’m embraced by a LIGHT and my ONLY prayer is one Eckhart so eloquently stated,
“THANK YOU” “THANK YOU” “THANK YOU!”