Monday, June 19, 2017

Lynda- Let the fields be joyful

I am gobsmacked by the physical beauty of the walk on the Camino. We are traveling through varied landscapes of woods, farms, villages and towns. The forests of oak, chestnut, pine and eucalyptus trees are thick with ferns and wild raspberries. Aspen leaves make their music in the breeze. Bird song fills the air - doves and sparrows and swifts. The farms are lush with corn and grass fields and potato gardens. Kitchen gardens are planted with lettuce, broccoli, onions, chard, peppers, and Brussels sprouts. Hydrangeas, daisies, roses, geraniums and hollyhocks spill over lawns and out of fences. Entryways and outside tables are shaded with grape vines. We step around the dropped fruit from apple, peach, fig, pear and cherry trees. Queen Anne's lace, yarrow, foxglove, mint, clover, dandelions, buttercups, thistle and stinging nettle crowd the ditches and fences separating the road and fields. There are so many other flowers I am not able to identify - little white ones, tiny blue ones, more purple and pink ones. (All that hay and those wildflowers - we are sneezing and rubbing our eyes.)

The Camino winds from forest paths to country lanes to the driveways separating farmhouses from their barns. The unexpected intimacy has surprised me - we are so close to open windows, we could reach through. There are chickens, sheep, dogs and cats and the Galician long horned cattle as well as the barnyard smells that let you know the animals are there before you see them. We can hear the crunch of a cow eating the raspberries along the fence. As we reach a village, the path is lined with hedgerows of anise, loropetalum, and boxwood. (Hedgerows! I have walked out of a painting into a Jane Austen novel.) 

Stacked stone walls are covered in thick moss. Stone houses and barns are roofed with slate or red tile, some of it covered in the same moss. And the views! From the top of the hills, we can look back on all of it, the villages, farms, pastures, fields and forests. The rain and fog we walked through on Tuesday had its own magical, mystical beauty. Today's cloudless blue sky frames the pink and ochre houses. 

We read Psalm 96 today - "Let the fields be joyful and all that is therein. Then shall all the trees of the wood shout for joy." Pretty perfect!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Baptism by Rain- Cullen

Today, June 13th, 2017, our trek began around 8:00am. The day stared out as a normal hike in cool weather as normal. As we went on, clouds began to cover the sky as well as the sound of thunder began to rumble in the air. Rain began to fall as we hiked on. 


The rain, not only cleaned off our gear, but it also reminded me of baptism and how our Camino or "journey" is meant to cleanse our minds and give us a new start and look on life, just like that of baptism. As we continue to walk our path to Santiago, I look forward to great memories with our group and meeting many great people along the way. 

900 years ago- Katie

June 12th, 2017

This is a rough sketch of the rocks we sat on when discussing the creation story and our daily theme of yellow arrows.


The rocks were a place where I felt inspired because it is amazing to think of how 900 years ago pilgrims made this journey without the help of the yellow arrows guiding them.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Oh yes... buen camino!!!

I meant to mention in the last post that we have already met other group of pilgrims from Italy!! I wish I had my gifts with me. I would have loved to give them a gift... just goes to show that we need them with us at all time! We never know when we will make a connection on the Camino!!

So our journey begins...

If our first night in Spain is any indication of what's to come, we are in for so many incredible and deeply meaningful encounters. After a long, long journey (arriving at the atlanta airport yesterday at 1:30 and traveling all night and day), we finally arrived at Albergue pension casa barbadelo today at 7:30 pm. We are just outside of sarria in this magical, beautiful place. Our lovely dinner was filled with easy conversation with Miguel, our guide, and with each other. This is an easy group that is already so well connected and kind and happy to be together!! Joy is in abundance. 

Katie- Travel is Hard

The travel has been very stressful. All of the flights have had turbulence. It has been hard to find food in the airports to eat because I am vegetarian. It was very hard to sleep on the overnight flight to Madrid due to screaming children and rough air. 


Seeing Iain in Madrid has so far been the highlight of the trip. Iain is one of my best friends and it was good to see him again after months of being across the world from each other. 


A very nice lady on the last plane gave me her aisle seat so I wouldn't have to be cramped in the window seat. We gave her one of our gifts as a Thank You.

**ed. note: Happy ending- Iain cam back and sat with K because the plane was not very full. He did, however, sit in the previously empty middle sit that I was looking forward to enjoying ...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Buen Camino- Tim Frilingos

As we were sitting waiting for our flight to Miami, I asked the pilgrims sitting around me if they had   orgotten anything. Everyone seemed set and well provisioned, but sometimes you don't realize what you haven't packed until you are further on your journey. We will see if things have been forgotten.

One thing I remembered was my journal from my pilgrimage to Iona. It was full of words and drawings from that trip that remind me of the person I was at that time. That first pilgrimage affected me deeply, especially as a traveler and all of my journeys since that time have had an added dimension of pilgrimage.

What I am praying for this band of pilgrims beyond health and safety is to experience this difference in what it means to be a pilgrim rather than a tourist. To see all of our interactions and experiences as a chance to see God. Buen Camino!