June 7, 2015
Just when I thought I had a day with little to write, the Camino provided. First let me say that last evening in the main square of Astorga, there was a wedding and so many of the locals were in their finest attire to celebrate at the church. It could not have been more festive with cheering and confetti and bells ringing. Shortly after the wedding ended, the BIG football (soccer) game between Spain and Italy started. Well I know having a Triple Crown winner is big in the US but there insn’t anything bigger in Spain than football. Well when Spain scored the first goal the square erupted like St. Peter’s square does when the crowd sees white smoke from tha Sistine chimney. Spain did go on to win and there were horns blowing all around town.
Today’s walk was a short 13 miles so I got to Rabanal del Camino at Noon. There had been reports of some criminal activites along this stretch so all the pilgrims were watching out for each other. This was pretty easy since there were pilgrims about every 100 feet along the path and the local police were visibly present. I had a chance to walk with some more delightful people and learn more touching stories. Thanks to those with whom I walked today. You made my day and my life richer.
Rabanal is a town that, according to Wikipedia, has a population of 60. Well I discovered that four of them are Benedictine monks who run a place for pilgirms to rest and rejuvinate. There was a big Mass and celebration this afternoon and I think all 60 residents were there. They were playing music as they processed around the church that sounded very Celtic. I won’t be in Galicia for a few more days but the Irish influence is already obvious. The symbol on the monastery is three shells for St. James and three stars for the Compostela which in a derivation of Spainish that means “Field of Stars”. The full name for my destination is Santiago de Compostela.
All in all, today again the Camino provided some things of interest and food for thought. Tomorrow is big day because I get to the highest elevation of the Camino and will come to La Cruz de Ferro or Iron Cross by 9:30 AM or there abouts. I have been carrying a stone and one from Kathy since I left home that will be laid at the base of the pole holding the cross. It is said that the stone represents past sins and that they are forgivin when you leave your stone at the base of the cross along the Camino. Maybe the rest of the journey will feel lighter to be so un-burdoned.
Continue to be blessed and keep me in your prayers. Buen Camino,