Pontes de García Rodríguez, As

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    • Day 31

      Herrerias to O Cebreiro

      May 31, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Honestly, for such a short trip today of only 8 km, I feel I have so much to say! First, the 8 km was uphill, but either I am getting used to the hills, or they are not as steep as at the beginning of the Camino. Some amazing views along the way, as the Camino climbed in three segments to the village of O Cebreiro. O Cebreiro is becoming a bit of a rest day since I arrived here well before noon, and have nearly the whole day here. It is a lovely, bustling tourist town.

      I enjoyed some conversation with fellow pilgrims, and later, enjoyed a quiet lunch in a restaurant full of travellers, locals and pilgrims. I think I am finally figuring out how to eat lunch at 2 pm, nap and work on my find penguin thing or continue to walk, go to church at 7, and have supper at 7:30 or 8 pm.

      Many pilgrims or tourists are attracted to O Cebreiro because of its religious significance. This is the site of the famous miracle during the late 13th or early 14th century. During a snowstorm a single parishioner who despite the wind, snow and cold, persevered to mass, and the priest who was lack lustre that day because he had no parishioners was performing his mass duties without faith and heart when suddenly when he raised the chalice and the bread, they were transformed into blood and flesh.

      The chalice, often considered the "holy grail" is still found in this church, and originated in the 12th century. The church itself has a foundation that dates back to the late 800's and in the 19th century, the church was restored as best possible to the medieval drawings and information available. The baptismal font dates back to the 9th or 10th century, the statue of Mary who apparently turned her head to get a better look at the miracle is still found in this church. In the 20th century, the parish priest, Elias Valina Sanpredro mapped out the original medieval, and historic Camino Frances ( the one I am doing). He is laid to rest in the floor of this historic church.

      In this church there is a beautiful Pilgrim Prayer in the left nave hung from the wall with candles all around and written in English ( which is slightly unusual), but which oddly enough, I was feeling the message of the prayer all the way up this mountain this morning, and then when I saw and read the prayer at the church, it resonated with me as exactly how I am feeling at this stage of the camino. (The prayer is at the end of these notes.)

      There was a pilgrim mass at 7 pm, and more recently, I am beginning to return to the Catholic Church and make an effort to take in the mass as opposed to feeling it is enough to spend time in church and pray each day. In the mass which the priest spoke primarily in Spanish but with snippets of English, I gathered he spoke primarily of love. His words, "when you take the Way home with you, take the soul of the Way with you" resonated with me as well. After the "official" mass, the priest gathered all the pilgrims in a circle around the alter, and in every language present, a blessing was offered. I spoke the English version of the prayer at this blessing. It was a very beautiful ceremony. He gave us each a tiny rock with a tiny yellow arrow painted on it. Between the Pilgrim's Prayer on the wall of the church (which follows), the mass where the priest spoke of love and taking the Way home, and the blessing spoke in every language, I am realizing that the Camino is so much more. I am only days from Santiago, and the deep significance of this is settling within.

      As I have said time and time again, the Camino is not a hike, it is not a holiday, it is a deep longing to "arrive". At what? I have no idea...but I feel closer to "arriving" as the days deepen closer and closer to the finishing of this Camino. My feet today are better, I am feeling more whole, less broken...and I believe that we must all learn to "arrive" at that place that lives in our hearts and souls.

      Pilgrim's Prayer from Iglesia de Santa Maria la Real

      Although I may have traveled all the roads,
      crossed mountains and valleys from East to West,
      if I have not discovered the freedom to be my self,
      I have arrived nowhere.

      Although I may have shared all of my possessions
      with people of other languages and cultures;
      made friends with Pilgrims of a thousand paths,
      or shared albergue with saints and princes,
      if I am not capable of forgiving my neighbour tomorrow,
      I have arrive nowhere.

      Although I may have carried my pack from beginning to end
      and waited for every Pilgrim in need of encouragement,
      or given my bed to one who arrived later than I,
      given my bottle of water in exchange for nothing;
      if I am not able to create brotherhood
      or make happiness, peace, unity,
      I have arrived nowhere.

      Although I may have had food and water each day,
      and enjoyed a roof and shower every night;
      or may have had my injuries well attended,
      if I have not discovered in all that the love of God,
      I have arrived nowhere.

      Although I may have seen all the monuments
      and contemplated the best sunsets;
      although I may have learned a greeting in every language
      or tasted the clean water from every fountain,
      if I have not discovered who is the author
      of so much free beauty and so much peace,
      I have arrived nowhere.

      If from today I do not continue walking Your path,
      searching and living according to what I have learned;
      if from today I do not see in every person, friend or foe
      a companion on the Camino;
      if from today I cannot recognize God,
      the God of Jesus of Nazareth
      as the one God of my life,
      I have arrived nowhere.
      Read more

    • Day 30

      Da kommt der Strom her

      April 11, 2023 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      Eine traumhaft schöne Strasse durch die Hügel an der Küste Galizien‘s.
      Windräder, zu hunderten und eine perfekte Strasse Richtung Biskaya.

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Pontes de García Rodríguez, As, Pontes de Garcia Rodriguez

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