EL BURGO RANERO to MANSILLA de las MULAS
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact
that I think I am following your will does
not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire in all
that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart
from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me
by the right road though I may know
nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always though I
may seem to be lost & in the shadow
I will not fear for you are ever with me, and
You will never leave me to face
my perils alone.” ~~~Thomas Merton
by sheer HOSPITALITY…
A gentle rain soaked my being this day and had it not ‘rained,’ the tears flowing from my inner dwelling would have me drenched—
All this so, so GOOD.
When I arrived in El Burgo Ranero yesterday and entered the hostel, a gentleman greeted me. He did not ask my name, rather he brought out a fresh glass and a bottle of water. He spoke ‘a little ‘ English and I told him I speak ‘poco’ Spanish…together we laughed AND we understood.
I handed him my passport and he stamped my pilgrim credentials. “Give me your pack.” NO ONE asked for my pack!
He carried it up the stairs to my room, opened the door to a most elegant room with flowers and a balcony overlooking the small city street. Across the way, I saw children playing soccer in a nearby field. It was so BEAUTIFUL…the young woman cleaning glanced at me and I said, “BONDITO”—she smiled with EVERY fiber of her being. The scent in the air was so fresh, unlike this pilgrim who just finished walking 15 miles. Trust, there is a ‘pilgrim aroma!’
The hospitality did not end. Breakfast in the a.m. was served later than the time I liked to set out, so I asked if a small sack could be made for me with a sandwich and a piece of fruit. The response, “NO PROBLAMA.” Then the young man, who spoke a little English said, “Would you like coffee?” I said, “No, no—keep it simple.” He came to my room to adjust the heat and saw my journal. I indicated I enjoy writing—he smiled and said he would bring my ‘breakfast bag’ that evening.
The knock on my door came at 7:10p.m. He handed me a sack, squeezed my hand and said, “Buen Camino!” I held the sack thinking it weighed more than my pack. He prepared enough food to feed a family, and tucked into the bottom of the bag a Camino Notebook…each page imprinted with the image of the shell—I offered NOTHING and THEIR hospitality like a stream—
I arrived in MANSILLA…greeted warmly, “Let us begin with a drink!” I’m rather boring…my glass of agua and his glass of white wine ‘clanged’ in a moment of WELCOME—
How ‘surprisingly’ wonderful to discover Merton’s prayer during ‘THIS’ days’ writings—
I have no idea where I’m going…yes, each day the wayward signs guide, BUT my being WALKS. I don’t have to have anything figured out, AND there is one thing of which I AM certain—I am NEVER alone.