Monday, May 2, 2016

El Camino de Santiago de Compostela Day 10:

There’s a certain joy in the simple routine and discipline of having to wake up every morning, regardless of how you slept or feel… and walk.
It’s more than just successfully getting out of bed. It’s learning to put one foot in front of another and keep on going in that one direction to that one destination you’re headed for, regardless of your circumstances.
That’s the heart of pilgrimage: you learn to follow Christ through His Word + Spirit, one step-day at a time, trusting Him, practically applying faith and love in action.
And eventually the beautiful truth of His harmony and simplicity dawns on you!
That’s why early mornings are so significant and often the most enlightening time of the day.
I’ve become quite a night owl since Erica’s no longer here with me. I get reading or watching something, time passes and suddenly it’s well past midnight before I’m finally ready to sleep. But the Camino challenged this habit;
we were usually so tired we went to bed early and woke up early because we had another day’s walking ahead of us.
This morning I especially appreciated the sunrise. A cold mist again blanketed the landscape when we started out. Everything seemed cloaked in a mystery awaiting revelation. A silent, cold darkness permeated, but a backdrop of light anticipated the revolution of the sunrise and when it came, it was glorious: just like Christ’s Resurrection must have been to the world’s spiritual darkness!  What an Awakening!
Our dorm was cold when we awoke, so we had a lot of incentive to get going, get the blood flowing, and get warm!
We planned to walk 23km today: the longest stretch on our last push all the way to Santiago and my verse:
Phil 4:19 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ was in my spirit and I truly felt: ‘I can do this!’
It’s not ‘God only gives us as much as we can handle’, but He gives us as much as He can handle through us.
I’ve been definitely learning how to draw on His strength more to carry me through.
I really don’t have time to listen to all the objections of my flesh. I need to focus on drawing from the Holy Spirit to finish what we started and I am confident He will be my strength to the end… and that gives me more hope and joy! And eventually we walked through a carpeted countryside of farms, fields and forests in brilliant sunshine!
We stopped for breakfast and another coffee at Palas de Reis and then walked steady throughout the afternoon.
We passed a restaurant called Zwei Deutschen = 2 Germans; we looked for our 2 friends,  but they didn’t come?  
But we did find Quatro Espagnols = 4 young Spaniards out for a good time together, walking from one bar to the next to drink, play their guitar and sing. And they were really good singers, out enjoying a good time together!
Finally, over one more bridge and into the suburbs of Melide, our day’s destination.  It seemed like a long walk through the city, a very different town from the previous empty villages; lots of people filled the streets and shops. Maybe everyone was getting ready for the holiday tomorrow?  
We found our posada, decided to splurge and got a place with a heater!
When I got my giant blister on our 2nd day walking, an Irish peregrino had very kindly given me something called a compede = a heavy-duty bandaid that adheres right to the skin -- and this finally came off today.
It took the skin right off too, but it had done its job and thankfully kept my foot clear from infection!
For supper we ate paella = the Spanish national dish of rice and whatever seafood is available; but we were quite disappointed: the little they served was expensive and not that tasty.
But it was a different story for dessert. We found a churreria packed with customers, (always a good sign) dispensing what soon became our favourite Camino treat: churros = deep-fried and stretched-out donut dough dipped in thick hot chocolate! Not the best for a gluten-free diet, but The BEST hot chocolate ever! 
And then I found my own car... here in Spain, but I didn't have my keys so.... I had to keep walking!

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