Thursday, November 1, 2012

6. Alto de Perdon - I Tried To Hide My Tears

November 3-4, 2011

On the third day I walked alone the 29km from Larrasoana to Zariquiegui via Pamplona and ended up being the only pilgrim in a private hostel in the tiny village. While walking through  the beautiful city of Pamplona I became aware of how at ease I am in an urban setting. I love the sea, the country, solitude but at the end of the day I am urban! During the Camino I came to a heightened awareness of the sacredness of the city - the humanity of it, the presence of God in it.

While praying in the Cathedral in Pamplona I read John's Gospel chapter 2 - the Wedding At Cana and the Cleansing of the Temple. What Jesus offers now - the new wine -  is better than what went before and in the cleansing of the temple he is also offering us something better than we have known. The question is will we, will I, allow Jesus to give what he is offering? Am I willing to go through the kind of cleansing that is necessary in order to experience the new?

"Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand." (Romans 15:21)

I left Zariquiegui on Friday November 4th at 8.00 a.m. The rain was pouring down, the ascent of the alto de Perdon muddy and slippery, the fog thick and the air filled with the eerie sound of a hundred barely visible wind turbines.



Being Friday I decided to pray the Stations of the Cross internally, arriving at the top of the hill for the crucifixion. The monument is familiar from the movie ‘The Way’. On my way down the other side at the placing of Christ in the tomb my mind was instantly back at Calvary in Jerusalem 1999 a month after Maura’s death. At that time I placed her in the tomb and cried and cried a torrent. Now in this place I not only placed Maura but Mam & Dad and my own past with is failure, its pain.

And the tears flowed again! And though I was totally alone, miles away from anywhere, I tried to hide my tears at first because they embarrassed me. But I dropped my hands and my guard and let go, crying all the way down.

There is a hint of resurrection. The last breath of the old life is the begining of an alleluia that comes to my lips but it is a song that will not be sung until it encounters the alleluia of the Holy Spirit. Then life will ignite in me. The opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics comes to mind and I think of myself as the flaming arrow shot forth by the archer to light the Olympic flame. That is the journey, the Camino.

The weather cleared, the sun shone and I sang other songs.

It was one of the most significant moments of my Camino and I walked 38km that day to reach Estella, a day ahead of schedule, arriving in the hostel where Mark, Becky and Brend were staying, though I wasn't to get to know them yet. 

Mark and i met briefly on the stairs, introduced ourselves and he with his great smile said, "I look forward to getting to know you." Right then I wasn't fit to get  to know anyone

The place was buzzing with happiness and I shared a dormitory with Harold who is 80 years old, and the 6 members of the Viveros Guzman family.

It seems to me that Divine Province intended me to meet these very people who became major blessings in my whole experience.

Estella was also the most friendly town so far. It had a working class, happy atmosphere, and I went out in the evening to have the lovliest burger and chips ever. And I got lost and was rescued by a lovely couple - Miguel & Conti - who walked me a long way back to the hostel, none of us having a language in common!

1 comment:

  1. Very profound experience of death and resurection. I am with you in your tears and the new life that these tears will grow and cleanse. Love and prayers, Margaret Anne

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