Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reflections from the Camino

Francisco´s dinner party at the albergue was tremendous.  We orginally set the table for 5 - me Francisco, a young woman from the Czech Republic, a Basque, and an Italian.  He ended up feeding 9 and later others joined for after dinner wine.  Our French host led us in a  song before the Basque took over as our choirmaster.  We sang the night away - well until 10pm and lights out.  One of the guys I talked to at dinner is a doctor who is at a cross-roads in his practice.  He has offers in three countries.  He literally decided to make the Camino to clear his head (33 days of head clearing) when he met two pilgrims in an airport during a flight delay.  He didn´t even bother to go home. He called and made arrangements for his practice, bought his gear, and headed out, following the two he had met.

Yesterday was a challenging day.  Given my schedule, I needed to have one long day, and I had decided that I would attempt it on Tuesday.  The walk yesterday was supposed to be 38K but ended up more like 40k.  (More on the extra two later).  I was a bit nervous because I had to commit to 38K after 23K because there was no place to stay between those two points.  The day was marvelous.  I felt great despite not getting much sleep the night before and drinking too much wine.  The the rainbow (no rain) in the early morning sky seemed to promise a great day, and it was. 

After lunch in Najara - sitting on a bench by the river - I got lazy and instead of following the yellow arrows (my authority), I followed three pilgrims up the WRONG mountain, adding about 2K to my already long day.  I named the mountain, the Mount of Gratitude.  At the 23K mark, I was still feeling good and went on. It was a very solitary expereince because everyone I had talked to was staying at the place I just passed.  I walked for a long time not seeing another soul - just me and God.  A long uphill climb about 6K from my destination about killed me, but at the top to my surprise was a water font and concrete reclining chairs.  I took off my boots and rested a while.  During the last 4K, I was really dragging, but then two my surprise, I saw a coyote and we walked together - at a distance - for probably 500 meters.   He pepped me up for the final but.  and, then to my pleasent surprise, the town I stayed in last night was down hill from me.  What a relief.

Last night´s mass and pilgrim blessing were a joy although my feet ached.  It says something when I´d rather kneel than stand or even sit.  But, a night´s rest has rejuvenated me and I am ready for a short 24K today.

Yesterday, I offered the day for my parish, St. Mark, especially the RCIA program.  Today will be offered for St. Gregory´s University in Shawnee, Ok and the Benedictine monks who run it.  In addition, other prayer requests have come in through my wife or through facebook (I´m not checking work email) and I have plenty of time to pray for those requests.

Buen Camino en tu vida. 

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Scaperlanda, Mike | Permalink

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