Sunday, 14 March 2010

I Must Be Going Now

Some things end, and others begin.

Yesterday the galgo girls took a side trip from their morning walk and killed one of the neighbors´ best laying hens. We viewed the corpse (by then plucked and ready for roasting), then handed over one of our little black Zaragoza hens to make good the damage. The bitches must be muzzled.

We helped trim the trees and clear up the flower beds in the Plaza Mayor, where the weather changed from bright sunshine to darksome snow within an hour´s time. Afterward we took part is a giant feed (officially termed a "merienda," or "snack") at the Ayuntamiento. Twenty people showed up. We talked about the crumbling church tower, the cemetery, what should be done with the bones in the cemetery, the best way to butcher hogs (with Esteban offering vivid visual aids with his steak knife and his own throat), how mule meat makes the best cecina sausage, and just who ought to have the right to hunt in fields owned by the Moratinos Neighborhood Association. Lamb was consumed, and empanada, and cakes. Pepsi and fizzy water, and homemade wine and moonshine were quaffed. It was warm in there. Everyone´s face turned red.

This morning the plaza looks clean-shaven and scrubbed bare.

Right this minute a train is (hopefully) speeding across Spain from Barcelona to Vigo. Kim is on board. She´ll alight in Sahagun in a couple of hours and rejoin our merry band.

Tomorrow I will board the same train on its return journey. I´ll get on at Sahagun, and get off at Pamplona. If I am lucky I will then catch the only bus up to the mountaintop village of Roncesvalles, right on the French frontier. And from there, Tuesday morning, I will set out on my second Full-Length Camino.

Walking the Full-Length Camino, a five or six-week trek on foot, is known to change lives. It did a real job on mine, back in 2001. Nine years later, I´ve stopped fighting the urge. I am joining the tide. I am taking the Big Walk.

You may not hear much from me during the coming weeks. A pilgrimage takes you Off Grid, in a way, way far from ordinary life. If you want it to. Which I do.

If you want to read live reports from the path, there are tons of camino blogs out there, full of detail and color and faith and heartbreak. I don´t think I can add anything new to that flood. Besides, internet access is expensive and somewhat rare out there on the trail. I will stay in touch with home, but minimally.

Home is doing much to set me free.

My cousin Micki died midweek. My son Philip had a revelation that turned into a long-awaited reconciliation for the two of us. I got some vegetable and herb seeds started, indoors and out. Temperatures are slowly oozing upward. March is rolling along just fine under its own inertia. Nobody really needs me here, not for a little while. And my backpack, fully charged, weighs only 5 kilos.

I have a promise to keep. It´s time to go.


The Solitary Walker said...

Have a good trip. Buen Camino. (5 kilos! How did you manage that?)

Kathy said...

All love and good thoughts go with you on your latest pilgrimage, Reb. I wish with every fiber of me that I was going too.

It's all set, the resolution, the reconciliation and the resolve....

(and love to Paddy, Kim and the Peaceable....)


Laura said...

Peace and strength and all things good for you, and for Paddy, in the coming weeks.

Johnnie Walker said...

Buen Camino Rebekah. No more to be said until you return and tell us everything :)



Anonymous said...

Reb, you wrote that you would not have much to add to the streams of Camino blog and discussion sites out there, but I must tell you I so much appreciate your special way of putting things. I would not want to have much internet contact on pilgrimage either, but know that your posts will be missed - and I look forward to the next ones with great anticipation. Wishing you many blessings on your journey, for body and soul. And much peace in the kingdom as well...

Wanda (in Canada)

Deirdre said...

Buen Camino, cariña. Qué Santiago te bendiga. I hope you will remember me to the Saint when you arrive.
Un besito.
Deirdrè said...

FYI: Patrick has sworn to update his blog more frequently, and include the kind of everyday Moratinos business that some of you so groove to. I will post when I get the time and inclination.
Thanks for your kind words.
Don´t go away! said...

...and Paddy´s blog is at You can click over to it easily from its prominent sidebar position on MY blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so jealous. And curious--5 kilos?? Buen Camino, Reb.

Anonymous said...

Hello Lass,

Lucky you. Some pretty weary pilgrims appear at that monastery!

I should be on route by velo sometime after April 11. No plans, but if I can deliver my 2 wheeled burro and keep Paddy out of trouble a few days, will consider it a success. My flight out of Madrid is April 27. If I don't see you, have a porto for me on El Cebreiro.

un abrazo,



ksam said...

Spring green, the color I'm turning! Wshing you all the best and the most wonerful of Caminos! Truly will have you in my prayers! But when you do get back..tell us everything...for those tethered to desks as of yet!

Pax, Karin

Sil said...

Keep warm.
Stay safe.
Buen suerte,

claire said...

Buen Camino, Reb. The Camino must be singing knowing that you're coming!
Have a wonderful time, the wind at your back, etc etc...