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Pilgrim Wonder  

Another June, another pilgrimage, though this time within the confined boundaries of Paris: Cynthia and I will spend 15 days June 3-18 exploring this heart of western culture and its joie de vivre (aka the love of God).

We have a tiny Airbnb apartment in the neighborhood known as Le Marais, a short walk from the Seine, just across from the Île de la Cité, the island where Paris was first settled 250-225 BC and the site of Notre Dame (Our Lady) Cathedral, named for the Holy Mother Mary.

May we stay attentive for what Paris has to teach us. See you there!

After 180 miles and 27 days, we arrived in Santiago this afternoon, full of gratitude for what we've done and also sad that it's over.

We're also very happy to be with our daughter Emily, who has been traveling in Europe and decided to join us for three days in Santiago before our return home on Friday. She also surprised us by meeting us about a mile before we reached the end!

Blessings abound!

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

When we arrived in the city of A Guarda in the early afternoon, we came across folks--young and old--hard at work in the middle of the main street. The street had been closed to cars, and they were placing objects on the ground. Youngsters were placing acorns along the outlines of a chalk design, and in the middle, older folks were laying flowers within the chalk lines.

It turns out they were fulfilling an old tradition in the city that is part of the Roman Catholic Festival of the Holy of Holies. After the designs are filled with flowers and grass, the extra space is filled in with chopped hay to form carpets that lead all the way up the street to the church.

In the evening, a procession led by musicians and then children (including angels!) walked up the carpet, stopping for rituals at a convent chapel and finally at the main church.

It was very special to witness so many people working for hours together. And what a blessed tradition. All that work for just a few minutes of fulfillment in the love of God. By bedtime, the streets had been cleaned of the carpets. It reminded me of the Tibetan monks spending days making sand mandalas before blowing them away.

Such beauty... so fragile... like life itself.

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