SIBYL MAGAZINE—February 2017/ A Key—A Stick…’Gifted’
A PILGRIM…SEEKING TEMPLES
Sandra Mattucci—A Key—A Stick…’Gifted’
Many faces pass me as I walk. My thoughts so meaning-filled this day. The “busy-ness” of life has given way to a quiet awakening within and by day’s end, all the walking took me back…back to its beginnings. I left behind many earthly ‘things’ when I departed my homeland—a country flowing with milk and honey. When I arrived in this unknown land, I ‘found’ the true source…the rich Honey Comb.
I was immersed in a sweet essence while I walked, as I glided across the slick cobblestone pavement. I was mesmerized by the magnificent arch before me—above me a statue of
St James with staff in hand. I stood—a foreigner, as one in exile embarking on a solitary journey and I heard the invitation to “Come, follow.” My heart pulsated as I fought to free myself from my ‘false’ self, from the lure of success, from the hunger for recognition, accolades and applause.
The arch I would walk under/through pulled me like a string. The church to my left whispered, “ENTER.” I reached for the door handle pushing and pulling wishing it to open. I felt a certain sadness when I realized the church was locked. How was I to enter? I took a few steps and saw a stout woman holding a skeleton key which dangled from an enormous hoop around her wrist. She gazed into my eyes. Speaking not a word, she unlocked the door and beckoned me “WELCOME.” A latch was lifted. My heart unleashed a sense of deep gratitude. Only now do I realize the gifts received.
A walking stick had become for me more than just a stick. As the pilgrimage began, the stick and I found our way to each other in one of the many shops. I spent time searching for the ‘right’ one. This stick caught my eye. I picked it up—I put it down and it leaned into me. It became my constant companion. A simple piece of wood carried me across rough terrains and through all weathers. Tears bathed my being when I arrived in Santiago and gently placed my companion with all the other sticks. Before my final release, I did throw it to the ground wondering if it would turn into a snake. The only hiss came from my lips—blessing to the next pilgrim in need of its assistance.
A key unlocked my heart. I, the foreigner, was carried by a companion ‘staff.’ A slivered moon illuminated the night sky and I was struck not by the light of the visible curve, but by its shadow in the black sea. There was my true self in the shadow. Who I am, who I was becoming, even after all this time—UNKNOWN. In my silent practice of being, I am trusting what is slowly being revealed. A new day is dawning and endless sunsets sink into mists of endings. HERE my true self awakens.