Friday, June 13, 2014

The church bells are ringing just as we head up the next mountain

Si es que habeis gustado la benignidad del Señor. 1 Pedro 2:3

Sacareis con gozo aguas de las fuentes de la salvacion. Isaias 12:3

Y el que tiene sed, venga, y el que queria, tome del agua de la gratuitamente. Apocalipsis 22:17

Indeed yesterday we enjoyed the benevolence of The Lord. So much of our time is spent wandering around in circles, seeking the Way. Around the ever-so-simple convent breakfast of cafe con leche and pound cake, a Spaniard with a guidebook offered to go with us. And while I did leave an armload of pretty important stuff unpacked, it was a benevolent day of rolling hills and trees overarching and more little gardens than Heather and Alan could ever dream of.

And late that night, although it is still light at ten, when Nicole and I unloaded off of the train at Ovieda without a clue, a second guide stepped in, Joe who left the Bronx twenty years ago to teach in this undiscovered paradise, also left his conversation, and hopped on his bicycle and led us through yet more winding cobblestoned streets to the pilgrim hostel that locks its doors at ten, but didn't.

And yesterday noonish we made our way up to the top of yet another steep hill, and were welcomed to the hostel of well, Drats, I forgot its name, but it is legendary on the Way of the North, yet another rose-draped farmhouse where we were greeted with pitchers of chilled water and loaves of bread and peach jam and cafe con leche for Nicole and me, and diet Coke for Ishmael, and a priestly blessing for all of us, and last night steamy hot water washed away the sticky soreness of the day, and once again, I experienced the free grace of God, with joy.

A pilgrimage is not about giving, but humbly receiving, again and again.

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Even if you leave your jacket, the bag of toiletries and your water bottle in the dining room, having made a quick sprint up the stairs up to leave little Bibles on the table.

The sunrise cannot push its way through a thick wet mist that should make for a refreshing ride.