Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cruz de Ferro

We reached the Cruz de Ferro mid-morning of a foggy day. My guide book said to go with no expectations or you may be disappointed. Someone else had said it was ugly and people had just dumped trash from their ruck sacks there. I thought about that while I was walking up. A place where humanity unloads burdens and the ugly things of their lives shouldn't be beautiful. We turned a corner and came upon it unexpectedly. As you can see by the photo, the mists where a perfect setting. The feeling was solemn as pilgrims reached into their bags to pull out their long -carried stones and trudged up the mound. I, too, pulled out my little plastic sack which held my symbolic burdens and those of others whom I had promised I would lay at the foot of the cross. As I walked up that hill, I felt a wave of overwhelming emotion. Littering the ground and covering the lower portion of the pole were rocks with farewells written on them, little toys, messages, photographs, and thousands of tokens of unknown pain, sorrow and suffering. I laid my stones down next to a silver scallop shell that I will carry all the way to Santiago and home again. I took this photo and prayed over each one of them as Mercedes, one of the Dominican sisters that I told you about many weeks ago, chanted a Lakota song to the wind. "Lakota energy is good energy," I said to her. "Yes, good energy," she nodded.
We are now in a little town called Acebo, and tomorrow we hope to be in the city of Ponferrada. As we walked down the steep slope from the Cruz, the path was like Zubiri redux--awful and stony --but as we came to a turn in the path, the mist had cleared and a beautiful green valley lay spread out before us with the city of Ponferrada far below, bathed in golden light. A promise of sunshine tomorrow!
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  1. Bev: WOW you hit the the nail on the head. We all need to dump a little trash at the cross from time to time. Sounds like, it was a very wonderful time of reflection. Does it not seem odd that God seems to show up out of the fog? We amble around searching for something we know we need and there he is just waiting for us to unload our burdens. Then he leads us to clear paths. Praying for clear skys, cool temps, and a smooth path for your travels. Marvin

  2. WOMAN OF LA MANCHA – Marvin pretty much said it all. I can only add your sensitive writing choked me and I welled up with my own emotional experience. Thank you for being so vivid. You must sense the force and passion of the multitudes that have gone this way before you. Of course as we swelter here, we all pray for you to enjoy cool temps and a smooth path. GO-GIRL-GO!

  3. I do have a beautiful day today. Right now I am resting and overlooking the city of Ponferrado. The Templars built a huge castle here which has been recently renovated. I hope I have the energy to go explore it!

  4. I find it ironic and entertaining that after you describing these beautiful and emotional scenes the last line is ...Posted by AT&T Blackberry.
    It throws me off every time.
    We can't wait to hear it all face to face when you return.

  5. Bev
    I am sure nothing else in your life will ever match what you are now experiencing. Nothing in my life will match the pride I have in all my children who each have chosen highground.

    Please bring me a small pebble to remember your journey. I only wish your mother could still be here to walk beside me as I walk with you on this high adventure.

    I love you.

  6. Dad, I think Mom is here with me. For sure she is often in my thoughts. And I think of you whenever I pass a really old door or rustic beam that you would love. I will bring you a pebble of some kind from Santiago.
    Thomas, life is full of crazy ironies. In the first day of my walk I took a picture of a satellite dish attached to a medieval building. It struck me as funny, but soon I realized it was a very common sight here.