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Pilgrim Wonder  

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Updated: May 11, 2022

For seven weeks, from May 28 to July 16, my wife Cynthia and I are walking the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) in northern Spain, an ancient pilgrimage route leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, said to hold the remains of St. James, the disciple of Jesus. Cynthia and I will join innumerable pilgrims who have made this walk since the 9th Century, estimated this year to be as many as 300,000.

This blog is for sharing progress and wonder with the Leverett Congregational Church community and other friends and family.

Thank you in advance for keeping Cynthia and me in your hearts and prayers. May we find beauty and wisdom and more along the way, and may these blessings lift us all.

All love - Lee

Five hundred miles and 52 days after setting out from St. Jean Pied de Port in France, we arrived today at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It has been harder and more blessed than we could ever have imagined.

To the mystery of love and grace that made this possible, Cynthia and I give thanks from the bottom of our hearts.

We finished our 49th day today… seven weeks since we started walking. We’re almost there; we have about 30 miles to go before arriving in Santiago de Compostela on Monday. This map shows our current Camino position, in Melide:

We are very ready to be done with walking and to return to our regular lives. And yet we are ambivalent. We will also miss it.

Walking distills life into intimate encounters we might normally miss…with ourselves, with others, with wonder as we pass through the beauty, and with the One who brought it all into being.

When we begin to worry about missing these blessings, we find hope in re-membering they will not be lost. All are possible at home, albeit requiring more intention. We will have the ability to move through our lives as an ongoing pilgrimage of intimacy… with ourselves, with others, with beauty, and with the One. If only we have eyes to see.

May we all have eyes to see.

Here is a short video I made a few days ago after struggling up a steep rise in the early morning. It might convey why we are sad to be leaving.

And here is a prayer from J.P. Newell that fuels my hope:

In the gift of this new day,

In the gift of the present moment,

In the gift of time and eternity intertwined

Let me be thankful

Let me be attentive

Let me be open to what has never happened before,

In the gift of this new day,

In the gift of the present moment,

In the gift of time and eternity intertwined.

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