Camino de Santiago— Day 5
March 30th (Easter Week)
PUENTE LA REINA to ESTELLA
Estella is Spanish for STAR. AS I set out this morning walking under the stars, I walked into a fellow pilgrim who lost his direction. We walked ‘together,’ and yet solitary, under a night sky soon meeting the dawn.
We, the pilgrim and I, looked out at the land which stretched on and on like a rolling carpet…at the rush of the river, we heard the pregnant silence, and took in the scent of spring in the air—fresh wild flowers, tilled earth, fertile fields, olive trees…
I’m so mindful of this Monday. I feel as if I’m in Bethany…the place where THAT woman would rub ‘spikenard’ on the feet of the One whom she LOVED. (What a sacrament) She believed EVERYTHING He said and it was she who began the preparations. I was lost in this moment as if I could smell the sweet perfumes in the air, AND then I began to sing aloud…
“To dream, the impossible dream, to…this is my quest; this is my star…To dream the IMPOSSIBLE DREAM.”
Yes, I was taken in by Don Quixote—the gallant knight who would bravely go to defend the honor of his Dulcinea—he, and only he, saw ‘Heaven’ in her eyes. At first she thought him mad, (perhaps he was a tad), but he would not allow her to see herself as anything BUT beautiful. No one ever told her that, but certainly enough men had their way with her. She wondered in her mind what he was really after—LOVE.
Is this a story so different from the one we listen to this week? The message we hear is the transformative gift of love. It ALWAYS comes with a price… (Not a monetary one).
I’ve walked with some young people whose dream is to study in America—their parents gifted them this CAMINO before they were to begin ‘THEIR SCHOOLING.’ They did not choose a Caribbean Cruise or a visit to Disney World. They chose to walk…their reasons—“DREAMS.” I listen to them speak and marvel at their JOY…at their attempts to embrace ‘quiet.’ Each stops to ‘look’ upon…into churches…YES, THOSE dwelling places—
Again and again I am taken in by the structures of the churches, the architecture, the talent of the builders, behind the ARTISTIC expressions NEVER to be duplicated, AND all I see speaks to me…SHOUTS to me—
“As are YOU, as are YOU, as are YOU and you and you—”
We are all temples of Divine Mystery. We are LOVE and THIS week my soul feels this GOOD NEWS, but I experience a certain melancholy because today there is so much noise. As I write, a machine began operating outside my hostel window, BUT I can HEAR the church bell toll…
I pray the church bell never stops ringing in my ear. That bell has many ways of clanging…a chirping bird, a horse’s whinny, the rush of wind, and yes, the sound of the machine…
I hope false ‘gadgets’ don’t take away the reality that angels do walk with us. It is so easy to miss them when what we seek is ANYTHING but love.