Camino: The Way
The Camino is often called The Way, the term originating in the Kingdom of France perhaps 1200 years ago because permission was given for pilgrims to pass. The markings are most often yellow arrows, or just about any arrow, and appear often as one walks. Lost on The Way? Look for the arrows.
There are many inspiring aspects to being a pilgrim on The Way. Our lives are a constant Way, always going forward, always seeking our next step. Sure, we can sometimes stray from our own best intentions, but in the end we are still on the Way.
Today I began rather early at 7:15am from my albergue in Zubiri, but I was still the last one out. Today had been a misty foggy day, and my spirits were joyful in song as I walked along. Especially during the mornings I tend to enjoy the quiet moments, listening to the waking of nature and watching the rising colors of the sun. Many pilgrims are already bustling along, moving often in great crowds. I am pleased that they seem happy.
I stopped at a small bar and ordered a tortilla with mushrooms, a delicious egg torte sort of thing, plus a hot milk. Along came two ladies, Debbie and Paula, sisters from California and Washington State, who are walking the Camino together. We had first met on the crowded train to St Jean Pied de Port four days ago. It was fun to see them again! Already I am seeing many of the same faces every day or two, and we feel like a Camino family. We ladies sit and enjoy our food, finding an easy friendship and joy in sharing our recent experiences. After our morning snack we walk together with easy conversation to the next village.
At Zabaldica I say goodbye to the two sisters. Perhaps we will meet again, as they continue on for Pamplona. I want to stay for the night at this little village at the nuns monestary and attend mass at the 12th century church.
Arriving before the albergue is open for today’s guests, I visit the delightful old Iglesia de San Esteban. Women are setting up for an annual village celebration.
I’ve never seen a statue of St. Joseph holding the Christ child. I was very touched. Father and son.
The main altar is 17th century with polychrome painting. Near the top is Mary and child and to the right of her is Mary of Magdaline. The other figures on the altar are saints, one of whom is St. Francis of Assisi. It’s an inspiring 3D altarpiece in this small stone church.
In the rear of the church stands a 12th century stone babtismal.
I also enjoyed the post-it notes in many languages that pilgrims have added to the wall behind Jesus; I added my own sentiments on a note for my Pilgrimage Way and for those who Walk with me on this journey.
Later in the evening at the beginning of the mass I was approached by a nun who asked if I spoke English. Before realizing it, I had volunteered to read the gospel reading during the mass in English. The priest first read it in Spanish, then I in English, then another Camino Pilgrim read it again in French. What an inclusive mass.
I reflected on this passage for my Camino. One may gain the whole world (in one’s life’s pursuits) but forget one’s real purpose of life….
Following mass was a communal Pilgrim dinner, very inclusive. We learned of the village annual festival held this evening in the tiny town square only a short distance away. I very much enjoyed the Spanish festivities, too many to fully recount here. It had been a late night and a full day. Buen Camino!
A short video of the festival accordian playing is here.
I love to hear from you and welcome your comments below.
I walk the Camino for personal inspiration and to raise funds for a new Temple of Light. If you are inspired to Walk with me follow the link at the top of the page. Many blessings to everyone.