Tuesday, May 3, 2016

El Camino de Santiago de Compostela Day 11:

Our hotel room was warm at night, so it was harder to leave in the  morning.
Also, it was Good Friday and they told us a procession from the church would start at 9, so we took our time.
In contrast to the Palm Sunday procession we encountered in Ponferrada, this was very small and somber.
My verse seemed appropriate: ‘count the cost’. (Luke 14:28)
Whereas the context usually refers to whether we are willing to commit our all to follow Christ through all the pain and persecution this decision involves; I felt this time it rather referred to focus on ALL it cost Jesus when He paid the ultimate price of our redemption, forgave our sins, defeated death and established His kingdom here in earth.
When we realize HOW MUCH it cost Him, we will no longer quibble about how little it comparably costs us.
It didn’t take very long till the single float and its following 100 elderly people wound their way quietly into the maze of narrow city streets and disappeared.
But my verse stayed with me and gave me much to ponder during the entire day.
We continued walking through more fields and forests of pine and giant eucalyptus, up and down rolling hills.
It was a moderate day: we’d only planned to walk 14 kms, one of our days’ shorter distances.
Even the rain remained a moderately slight drizzle for most of the time.
However, one unique highlight: as we were walking down the forest path, we heard a flute playing in the distance.
It was hard to tell where the music came from, but it seemed to be up ahead, so we kept walking, drawn by its light and pleasant melody. Then we turned a corner and discovered a lone fellow with a donkey tied alongside him.
He was not only playing in the middle of nowhere to no one in particular, for it seemed we were his only audience;
but the scene had an added peculiarity: he’d written ‘Buen Camino’ = ‘Have a Good Time on The Way’ on his donkey’s side. Just in dye, pen, or more permanent paint, I don’t know?  But it was a reminder that you never know what to expect when you turn a corner on the Camino. We listened respectfully, walked by and all the while he kept playing; he didn’t skip a note and his donkey didn’t flinch!
By the time we reached Arzua, our day’s destination, the rain was falling harder. Thankfully, we’d finished our walk just in time to not get drenched. Our albergue for the night was called Don Quijote; everyone needs to at least one night in a place named after this romantic hero while in Spain! We had supper at a local restaurant, found a specialty cheese, chorizo = sausage and vino shop and played another chess match.
A peaceful day on the Camino.
In fact, that night I dreamed I found an ice cream shop on the Way that had named a flavor especially after me
and then put this sign on it: ‘The  BEST ice cream in ALL the world!’
I was definitely feeling fulfilled! 

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