Camino—Day 3

Camino de Santiago—Day 3

March 28th
Zubiri to Pamplona

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work.

And that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings..

                                                                                               ~Wendell Berry~

Wendell Berry’s words resonate throughout the pages of my journal…they sing in and through me.

I woke early (NOT anything NEW).  It was still dark, but in 10 minutes the sky would shed its light and I would set out in the unknown darkness—The Way just ahead.  I sang the prayer into the dampness, echoed Micah’s words, (6:8) “This is what Yahweh asks of you; only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God,” and breathed a silent thank you In and OUT.  C.G. Jung came to mind and stirred my unconsciousness—THIS was so good.  I went back in time when I was a little child in love with WORDS, but I did NOT know how to write them, YET.  My message was always a love note to my mom, and when I handed her my make believe writing on paper, she would sit looking into my eyes and let me read aloud ALL I had written.  From where did that TIMELESS memory return?

No matter…

Paging ahead…my years stretched out before me.  I wrote poems, reflections on LIFE…so many stories.  I paused countless times this day remembering them—a box of trail mix…a unique blend of so much—

Amidst great joys, there was sorrow.  A wise soul read ‘THOSE’ poems and whispered, “It’s time to LET THEM GO!”  I really don’t believe I understood the depth of those three words, BUT I watched endless pages of my story dissolve in FLAMES.  They were gone, but my STORY LIVED.

My pen sat idle for a long while until Professor Bailey, my college instructor, taught a Scripture course and shared the gift of verses.  He asked us to memorize certain verses—NOT simply to ‘give’ them or utter them to persons WHO NEEDED THEM.  No, they were for us…for us to sit with, reflect about and ponder—BUT what he asked of us most was to keep a journal (each day) and he would collect them at the end of the semester.

I accepted this invitation—not like something I had to do, but every fiber of my being wanted to write.  The exercise I embarked upon meant I had to pause—it was NOT a quick, “Oh, I’ll splash some words,”  BUT a conscious undertaking of what was stirring in my CORE— (did I truly know?)

Spirit nudged and the day to hand in our journals came—it was our FINAL…

A week passed…I took some respite from writing BUT the quiet pause, the silent meditations, the time for DOING nothing unraveled…it’s STILL unraveling.

The day to receive our journals dawned and Prof. Bailey stated he was pleased.  “There was one journal I read through entirely…I could not put it down.”  He turned to me, handed me my journal and said, “Well done.”

Tears fell from my cheeks.  I walked in THIS moment—lost in time and now re-found…

I’m trying to write each day…I have been walking the Camino three days and finding words to describe my journey is far from an effort, BUT there is so much I am experiencing in between, so much more to say and NOT say.

During this day’s walk to Pamplona, a few blisters emerged.  I punctured the one behind the toe…Yes, the nail will go, BUT I’m not one for pedicures so it will not make a difference.  My feet fit nicely into my boots.  I’m not too worried about heels—those WHO really know me understand that when I’m teaching I’d much rather be in my New Balance sneakers or cowboy boots! (Ha!Ha!)

I did leave out a cute story that took place the first day of my Camino walk.  There was a beautiful miniature horse and I wanted to click a photo.  I thought the strap of my camera was around my neck…oops!  The camera unhinged and I watched it make its way down the hill.  YES…I went after it.   It is still WORKING (for how long…oh, well)
AND, I did get a photo of the horse.



Back to Pamplona…I walked with and beside several pilgrims today…a silent gift we were for each other.  We walked—young, old, middle aged—SOME rushing, some slowly tracing their steps.

Each person has a personal reason for walking.  I’m still seeking temples…I’m seeking the temple within.  NOW, in front of me, stood the HOLY CATHEDRAL of Pamplona.  A rush of emotions filled me.  I knew I had to go “IN…” into this Cathedral which has been standing since before the 12th century.  I entered as if I were ENTERING my SOUL.

The MOTHER—EVERYWHERE—and Magdalene over her BELOVED.  His life was taken, BUT the story lives.  The pregnant witness I’m taking in is birthing itself each day in everything I see and don’t see.  The soft scent of spring flowers perfumes the air and I’m mindful tomorrow is Palm Sunday.  Perhaps, I’ll ‘see’ a little donkey—one related to the same ONE that Christ sat upon.  He was NOT seeking KINGSHIP—
if He were, do you really believe He’d have chosen an ass…?

Christ simply said, “Follow me”…and so I’m trying—

I thought my life in this world—my work DONE…AND, NOW in THIS MOMENT, my work—to write and scribble a few sketches in between—

I don’t know the path tomorrow, but I’ll journey…this present NOW.

My mind is swimming and some of life’s greatest ‘rocks’ in the pool of my journey gave me a chance to become me in this moment…

I’m sure more stones or boulders will make their way, but for NOW, I’ll keep right on singing.  Thanks, Wendell Berry.


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