Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tripping Out of Zamora

The weather´s gone all wintry  now.

Yesterday the weather was cold but sunny, so I drove to Zamora, on the Via de la Plata, to visit a couple of Canadian hospitaleros who are doing their thang at the pilgrim albergue in that fine city. Wow, what a place! It´s a Pilgrim Parador, built into the city walls with brand-new everything, even an elevator for the handicapped! Best of all was going out on the town and eating and drinking way too much rich stuff with Tom Friesen, one of the shining stars of the Canadian hospitalero traning movement. He´s a sweet spirit, a generous soul, and a hoot, all at the same time.

On the drive home this morning I felt very sharp and bright. I haven´t felt that way for a long time. The sky was full of clouds with blinding-bright edges and bullet-gray insides, and the watery light cast long shadows everywhere. The campo was 120 miles of magic, with every crumbling dovecote and adobe picked-out in high relief, and great raptor birds circling over it all, looking for lunch.

The rural architecture of Zamora and Valladolid provinces is unique in a lot of fascinating ways. I want to study it in-depth. I want to know about the tiles up on the church spire, those strange round windows on the half-story roofs, and the dovecotes... wow! They´re almost Oriental! And most of them will not be here much longer. I had to take their pictures. So this blog is mostly pictures. They are worth a lot more than words, you know. (If Blogger will cooperate. It does not like it when I use photos, so it makes me insane when I try to upload more than one, or arrange them pleasingly on the page. ARRRRRG!)

So what does one do, when one can´t do a whole lot?
One finds a really lovely poem. Here is a new one:

by Joseph Stroud

Everywhere, everywhere, snow sifting down,

a world becoming white, no more sounds,

no longer possible to find the heart of the day,

the sun is gone, the sky is nowhere, and of all

I wanted in life – so be it – whatever it is

that brought me here, chance, fortune, whatever

blessing each flake of snow is the hint of, I am

grateful, I bear witness, I hold out my arms,

palms up, I know it is impossible to hold

for long what we love of the world, but look

at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,

see how the snow drifts down, look how happy

I am.


Dayton said...

*It's nice that you were able to see Tom. He has talked about the amazing place in Zamora. All the best on your Camino with Juli's mother.

Dayton, London, Ontario

Anonymous said...


and love,

Laura said...

"On the drive home this morning I felt very sharp and bright. I haven´t felt that way for a long time."

These words made me smile.
Lovely photos and beautiful post.

Colin said...

Rebekah, they ARE oriental. Or middle oriental. You can see them all over the plains of Iran. Built when it was Persia. And probably long before that.

Tracy Saunders. said...

When you decide where and when, do please let us know. I will walk too and think of Juli. Even if it is to my local church in Benahavis only 8 klms there and back. The present knee and hip won't let me go too much further than that but a Camino is in one's heart, Verdad?

ksam said...

At least we know those windows will now live on too! Lovely pics, thanks!

Now..I want my snow too!!

Karin :-)

claire said...

Ah, you have entranced by your writing. A real deep thrill for the way you write.