I began walking the great expanse of the Spanish meseta yesterday morning. This is the wheat growing capital of Spain, and many pilgrims speak of it with dread for the seemingly endless and ongoing golden fields of grain and sunflowers.
The meseta comes at about the half way point on the French route of the Camino, the route that I am walking.
The first week of this Camino route seems a time when one meets people that will continue, on and off, with you for the weeks to come; it’s a social connection time, a time to build your Camino family. As I mentioned in a previous post, I expected to walk alone; I didn’t “need” a Camino family. But in fact, this is an integral part of the experience.
The second week of walking seems to challenge one physically, perhaps even more than the first happy buyant week. So many blisters that can bring tears, knee pain, feet that feel like you are walking on the bones, a heart that may ache. Many face the question of the wisdom of continuing. The Camino family bonds grow stronger.
(Kristin on the trail on the meseta.)
And the third week, the meseta! A time for inner reflection and silence. I still find myself going the long distances and staying at the same albergues as my Camino family, but we all relish our inner life in these hours.
The meseta should not be missed, it is an integral part of the journey of this Camino route. It allows one to go deeper inside, find the inner voice, listen to the whispers of guidance.
(On the trail at sunrise.)
The meseta can also be cold! This morning it was 3C (37F), making for cold fingers holding hiking poles. However, the sunrise is worth the cold. It gradually warms to about 17C (62F) by afternoon, a pleasant temperature for the flat wheat fields, km after km.
Bragging rights: Kristin, Melanie, and I all walked 39km (24 miles), my longest distance ever in my life, and also carrying a backpack. Lots of time to meditate on the beauty and the blessings all around me. I love to stop and add my rock, a prayer for myself and everyone I carry in my heart, to each of the little shrines along the way.
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