On January 5, 2011, we stayed at Hostal Liberanus Domine, a private hostal, run by siblings Clementina and Jose who welcomed us as if they had been expecting us.
We left the elegant Burgos Albergue Municipal and walked towards our next destination, Rabé de las Calzadas.
It had been a long day that began early in Burgos–about 8 a.m. and still dark– walking in the rainy early morning to the bank in crowded streets as people huddled under colorful umbrellas on their way to work or school. I noted that the fashionistas were wearing wool short suits. One woman especially stood out; at Banco Santander where we went to exchange our dollars for Euros, she walked in obviously cold, in a camel colored wool suit, with short cuffed shorts over brown tights and brown leather knee-high boots; her elegant jacket had brown leather elbow patches. Another woman in the street was wearing a blue denim suit with short shorts and black tights and boots. She was very elegantly coiffed and with fancy jewelry, but no doubt freezing in her short-suit.
My new yellow poncho makes me feel like Sponge Bob! I am anything but fashionable. Luckily no one expects a pilgrim to dress any differently than we are dressed. We bought more tissue packages for our noses run constantly as we walk in the cold. The rain is merciless. The rain that the fields thirst for poses a problem for the pilgrim. All day, I think of the poemario and make up titles for poems and lines drift in and out. It is cold and rainy as we walk out of Burgos having had a light breakfast at a Cafe near the Banco Santander near Plaza Mayor.
The amazing thing, though, was walking into Rabé and being greeted by Jose in a special way. We were close to the tiny town of Rabé and to the hostal where we had planned to spend the night when I had a strange urge to pray the rosary. It is unusual for me to suddenly begin praying the old ritual prayers. But I found myself unable to resist the urge and I did think of my Dad whose devotion to the rosary had been such that in my childhood we would pray the rosary at home. Of course during Christmas, or when someone died, he led the prayers beautifully and complete with the litanies and all. So, I began praying to myself using my hands, as I didn’t have any beads, to count the individual Hail Mary’s of the mysteries, and changing the walking stick from one hand to the other to mark the five mysteries. As I was finishing up, praying the special prayer my family always prays at the end of the rosary, “Dios te salve, reina y madre….” we walked into the town and I felt a strange joy. As if I had arrived somewhere really special. When Jose handed each of us a small medal of the Virgin Mary, after stamping our credenciales, I remembered my earlier urge to pray the rosary and felt a connection. I asked him why he was giving us the medal and he explained that he did that with all the pilgrims because the town was dedicated to Mary. I again felt that indescribable joy.
Later I read in our guide that the 13th century church is Santa Marina. The albegue according to our guide book is Santa Marina and Santiago. But I remember the Latin name and in fact I have a card that Jose also gave us with the image of the Virgin Mary and the name of the private albergue.
MEDITATION FOCUS: Mary, the female energy, is welcoming us to her town. I feel joyous and full of energy.I welcome the feminine energy and offer the day’s caminata to Mary.