IN THIS BLOG–I REMINISCE ABOUT MY WALK ON THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO A YEAR AGO
Written on December 12, 2012
El Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. And I am swamped with work–writing letters of recommendation and finishing papers. A year ago, I meditated and wrote letters of recommendation and finished a paper while Lisa went off to work. Spending the time before the Camino in Toledo was a brilliant idea. I walk the streets and find myself enjoying the Christmassy feel of it all. La Calle Ancha with the hustle and bustle of business and social life in early evening. Lisa and I attempted to go to a free concert, but the place was already packed and we were turned away along with others who had not had the presence of mind to get there really early to insure a seat in the auditorium. So, instead, we walked to the bank where a living Belén was set up. Like the children, I was intrigued by the animals, including chickens and geese not just the usual cow and donkey that traditionally grace the Christmas crèche. The stable had been set up and was ready for the figures of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus, as well as the Magi, the Three Kings, who will take their positions.
The whole town is decked out for Christmas and people still take their daily evening stroll, but this time they are wearing heavy fur coats and boots. The bars are packed as they always are in the evening; people spill out of two of my favorites, Alfileritos and Abadía, onto the street. The cavernous Circulo de Arte bar is packed–it used to be a church and it still has the feel of a church even when the music is loud and the patrons are drinking and dancing. Earlier in the day, I met with the staff of Universidad Castilla-La Mancha’s Español en Toledo (ESTO) for a cup of coffee at the university’s coffee shop in the Humanidades building, also an old convent converted to twenty-first century uses.
Earlier, I called my friends and scheduled times to meet with them. They are surprised that I am walking the Camino. In the ESTO office, Esther tells me of how she ruined her toenails from walking, not the Camino Francés, but the Portugués. I try not to listen; I don’t want to be influenced. My toes will be fine, I tell myself. On the 12th of December a year ago, I was still full of anticipation and trepidation. But, now a year later, I can calmly recall those days before I began to walk, and I write the first poem for the Camino. I had no idea that I would be writing poetry during this blogging period, but here it is, unexpected and bright, like a shiny copper penny one finds on the sidewalk, affirming that I am on the right path even now a year after I walked the Path.
Que imán más fuerte
Es el que tú posees que me atraes
Cuerpo, alma y mi corazón sin poder
Penetrar siquiera un rinconcito
Del inmenso universo ilícito
De las líneas magnéticas, Ley lines
That govern and shape a quienes
Siguen, a quienes se dejan llevar,
To be drawn by the power,
The magnetic pull of the heavens
And the earth. De la via Lactea a la tierra,
De Saint Jean a Santiago, a Muxia,
A Finisterra, the end of the earth,
Always back de a dónde vienen
Los Peregrinos van y vienen,
Algunos se quedan,
Others never arrive.