In which Heidi deals with overwhelmedness.
I love lists. And nothing beats a 500 mile hike in bringing out the list maker in me.Before I left home, I had a list of my Camino lists.
I have a list of sights I don’t want to miss based on other pilgrim reports. Foncebadon is the site of the Cruz de Ferro. The Iron Cross.
Pilgrims have stopped at this humble monument sitting high above the old village to meditate, reflect and pray and perhaps leave behind a rock that they have carried from their point of origin. On the rock, according to accounts I have read, are written worries, baggage, struggle and points of deep despair that are left there in Foncebadon…at the foot of Jesus. Again, the pictures I have seen are very moving. Thousands and thousands and thousands of stones and tokens are pictured at the base of the Iron Cross.
Then we have Pamplona! This town, the only community on the Camino route that I had ever heard of two years ago, is the site of my first rest stop – meaning two nights in the same place. Alas, I have missed San Fermin this year – but I shall not miss Hemingway’s stomping grounds for The Sun Also Rises. Museums, cathedrals and Arenas oh my! Oh yes! Bring on Pamplona.
Somewhere on Day 8, I will come upon the red wine drinking fountains. Built in 1991, the wine fountains are casually located across the way from the local Benedictine Monastery. Pilgrims are encouraged to take a drink with the words:
“Peregrino si quieres llegar a Santiago con fuerza y vitalidad de este gran vino echa un trago y brinda por la felicidad”. (“Pilgrim, if you wish to arrive at Santiago full of strength and vitality, have a drink of this great wine and raise a toast to happiness.”)
Who am I to resist strength, vitality and happiness?
I imagine that each of my days will be filled with medieval cathedrals, statues of local heroes, pastoral scenes and glimpses of a lifestyle of which I have never dreamed. And which certainly have not made any of my lists.
And in case you were wondering, I got everything packed into my backpack from the packing list and sent my walking plan to those who had asked for the itinerary. And to a few who hadn’t asked.
Notably, I only got about ½ done of the “things to do before I leave for the Camino”. So – Sarah and Sarah…your May graduation gifts will come to you in November. And what a surprise that will be…yes?
5 days until I start walking.
God in your mercy, hear my prayer.