Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Now I am going to tell you the truth here and I am curious if other pilgrims have had this experience at this point. Once I reached O Cebreiro I knew I could make it to Santiago. Somehow the last few days have felt anti-climactic--just a real "slog". I am so tired of many things. I am tired of thoughtless people in albergues; I am tired of washing clothes in ice cold water; I am tired of bars with dirty restrooms where there is never any toilet paper or paper towels; I am tired of having to be aggressive in bars to get waited on instead of waiting in an orderly line; I am tired of speaking only pidgin English because there are hardly any native English speakers; I am tired of sour-faced Spaniards who are probably tired of peregrinos; I am tired of motorists who seem to be trying to see how close they can get to me without hitting me; I am tired of peregrinos who talk loudly and incessantly on the camino on a beautiful fresh morning when I'd rather hear the birds sing.
OK, since I am a good and grateful pilgrim, I will now tell you what I am NOT tired of: I am not tired of getting up with the sun and stepping out into a new day; I am not tired of seeing the mist on the mountains and the hills spread out like an emerald drapery below me; I am not tired of watching the snails and slugs slowing inch their way across my path; I am not tired of marveling at the creative color schemes of the wildflowers in the fields, or of hearing the tinkling bells on the sheep and cows as the shepherds and farmers drive them along the country roads; I am not tired of walking in the shade of massive Spanish chestnut trees or of eating the cherries that are just in season now; I am not tired of being outside six or more hours a day soaking up the beauty of God's green earth.
So what's wrong? Well, a tune came to mind as I was walking today that I think sums it up. It is the song of the Scottish soldier who is serving in a foreign land far from home. He sings, "because those green hills are not highland hills, oh the island hills--they're not my land's hills. And fair as these green foreign hills may be, they are not the hills of home."
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