Have you ever slept in bunk beds pushed right up beside each other so that the body next to you belongs to a German in his underwear? I have. And I don’t know what was going on with my brain; perhaps it was just in shock from so much skin beside me, but when I heard an alarm go off this morning I rolled over and pressed his head to make it stop.
Yep, I actually did that.
I left soon after, with no eye contact – thank goodness for small mercies.
This is a special moment in the pilgrimage where you leave your stone as a symbol of leaving behind histories, burdens, pains, memories, loved ones, habits, sins.. Some just do it without much importance behind it because it’s ‘what you do on Camino’. Each to their own.
I felt a significance in leaving my stone at the foot of the cross, where so many hundreds, thousands – more, even – have left their stones before me. It was just a little rock I picked up on day one; people generally bring one from their home country, but I wasn’t sure how well I’d go getting it through the different customs offices on my way over, so instead I took a minute to find one at the start of this adventure.
I left this morning on my own before dawn. I wanted solitude, quiet; just Jesus and me again.
It was such a sweet, beautiful morning walk in the cool of the day. I’m sorry if you’re getting sick of all these panoramic landscapes; I am travelling through the most scenic, awe-inspiring places and can’t get enough of them myself.
The cross was beautiful.
I sat down off to the side under a pine tree and journaled a bit before climbing the hill to place my stone as the sun peeked out over the top of the forest.
It is said that the Camino continues to whisper its secrets and teach you long after you have finished your walk, and I suspect this moment will be similar. There seemed a significance to the timing. I placed my rock (a symbol of my burdens, hurts, disappointments, fears) at the foot of the cross, and rose the same moment those first rays shone over the horizon. That will be an interesting moment to further unfold in the Spirit, I’m sure.
The descent from the cross to our town tonight was 1000m. I felt light, free and adventurous – and so I ran! It was such fun to prance from rock to rock, skipping side to side and trying to match my strides to the music I had in my headphones.
At the second cafe I came upon, I stopped in for a coffee and facetime chat with my cousin Nathan – shout out to the Bennet family 🙌🏽 Papa Craig said he wasn’t sure if I am super crazy or super brave.. So we agreed on a bit of both. Anyway happy happy birthday kiddo, congratulations on becoming a teenager! I hope you’re an easier one than I was… 😘🎈
And that town down there? In the background? I walked there today!
I kept passing people until I came to the Portuguese fellas. Now, I’m getting better and better at interpreting different languages (Italian in particular), and heard something about Spice Girls as I came up behind the two boys. I took those headphones right out and joined in the conversation. Well, more like tried to.
They were talking about their favourite songs and then singing them.. It was FANTASTIC! I slowed my pace to sing with them and together (mostly they though – I thoroughly enjoyed listening 😂) we belted out Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Mariah Carey, Christian Aguilera, Disney tunes as we walked down the mountain… All my Lennox peeps will know that I was in heaven!
Being back in greenery, blackberries have started to reappear. So good!! I think I might even go a day sometime soon and just live off of them! Save a few dollars and gorge on the goodness of the earth.
Cute towns, mountain vistas, Disney sing-a-longs, desert fields, a good tan…
This is the life.
Thank you all over again for your prayers and messages. I love you guys; it’s you who are helping me complete this.