Thursday, October 1, 2009
Last night I arrived in Larrasoana dead tired after two days and 32.6 miles in the mountains. Every bone in my body ached. But, it is a wonder what a good night of sleep (in a bunk room with 25 of your closest friends can do. Todays walk through Pamplona, with its wonderful green spaces, beautiful medeival city, and impressive cathedral was much shorter - only 13.2 miles mostly still in the mountains, along winding wooded paths with the river always nearby. Tonight I am 3 miles past Pamplona in a small city with two 12th century churches.
Yesterday about midday I felt called to leave my friends of the first day and a half and walk alone in silence. Except for brief conversations as I pass people (or more likely they pass me), I haven´t talked with anyone while walking the past day and a half. As my friend Roberto said, let the Camino guide you, don´t set the agenda for the Camino. And, the Camino was-is guiding me into silence at least for a while. I did have a brief conversation on the path with a Frenchwoman who had recently come back to the Church after a 34 year absence. Last night, I had dinner with two Spanairds, a German who left his home in Germany on July 6 and started his Camino, and a Frenchmen who started his Camino three weeks ago in Le Puy, France.
On this blog we have had many discussions about authority. This issue pressed upon me yesterday afternoon and today, as I thought about my authority on the Camino. Yesterday afternoon, I was one or two kilometers from my destination when the Camino sign (a blue tile with a yellow shell) or a yellow arrow seemed to point in the direction of an industrial waste pit (think the making of Sauron´s army in the Lord of the Rings). I followed the sign. About 500 meters down, I started to question this authority - I was tired, I wanted to rest, and this didn´t seem to be the way. Just then I looked down and saw a yellow arrow painted on an industrial pipe. Soon I was out of this industrial wasteland and back in beatiful mountain woods. Who knows where I would have ended up if I hadn´t followed the authority in the form of these signs. If I wasn´t trusting the authority of the Camino, I would be desparately lost by now.
Happy feast of the Little Flower. Instead of the traditional 8pm mass at the Church, I have heard that we have a priest pilgrim who will say mass at 6:30 in our courtyard.