I knew it would be a great experience, but I did not expect that almost every moment of 900 kilometers of walking will be filled with miracles, great encounters and uplifting experiences. In Camino, man really learns a lot about the world and himself.
During the journey all the time I felt I had to go into every church. How many millions of pilgrims have visited these sacred places over the past thousand years? It’s as if everybody left a little of it. I go in, I admire the church, then sit down, close my eyes and give myself the magic of the place. I have always loved the devotion and silence of the cathedrals.
For the sake of the baroque church, a small detour had to be made. Because of the rain, the majority did not climb the hill to the Abbey, but I felt I could not leave it. She had a nice aunt in the church, and after she knew where I came from, she put Hungarian prayers in my hand. When she saw how I was astonished, she sent her to the tower, “Hang on the bell and let her voice reach your heart.”
I did not really understand what that meant until I spoke the bell. As soon as I heard her voice, my tears began to shake. Then I went back to the church and sat down and felt that I was here. It would have been nice to stay, but I persuaded myself to go because it was too late. Since then I have been sorry that I did not sleep there – I did not even know how wonderful it could be for a church albergue, hostel.
Later, I read that a 93-year-old American woman made a strong call when she came here for five days to push the wheelbarrow and assist in the excavations. The hard work of the physicist made him lose his 800 kilometers. It is fantastic what the human body can do.
I met an English boy whom he had deep faith in. Because of his congenital illness he could not walk, but he was bounced by two crutches. I can not imagine how he came through the steep rocky parts or slippery, muddy deserts. I sat down next to him, and as we talked, I found myself not doing her favor, but vice versa.
I had a bad day, nothing worked out as I planned, I was tired, sad, but all this was gone as I was listening to Daniel. It was incredible strength and optimism. I met a lot of positive people on the road, but he surpassed everybody. Just a couple of days later, I came to see why his radiation was so strong. The body of a grief draws it, but its soul swells. I know it sounds odd, but I guess I met a real angel.
A few days later, in Grañon I had an enjoyable experience at the accommodation next to the church. I knew then that this was a special place when I saw the label of the advent casket: “Put what you can give or pick out what you need.” After dinner, we burned candles and went to the gallery by a secret side door. There was a deep silence over the temple, as if we were going to be an enchanted world. The light of the many tiny candles lit up with a ghostly light.
As I passed the magic of the moment, I took a picture of my childhood. It was Christmas. Dad gagged a little bell, the ten grandsons were queuing up, we started singing and solemnly entered the room where the decorated pine was already waiting. They were wonderful moments.
In the church, among savage people, I felt a child again and seemed to be surrounded by a loving family. This mood only increased when someone started a big candle. From hand to hand, everybody said a prayer or wish in their mother tongue. When I listened to the Korean girls I was crying. Despite the fact that I did not understand a word, I felt the love flowing from their words.
Near Itero de la Vegia, someone told me that there is a beautiful little church that has been converted into accommodation, but it is very difficult to get in because it has only twelve seats. The pilgrims were lining the entrance at noon, so they would not miss the special accommodation. I arrived late in the afternoon, knowing I did not have a chance, but I felt I had to try.
I tried to explain the Italian hospitalization, how important it would be for me to fall down here, and to my surprise, after some humor, he said, “Well, good. I’m going to get you a mattress in front of the altar. “I was pleasantly jumping to his neck. I managed to get to San Nicolás, one of Camino’s most amazing lodgings.
I was so grateful I offered to help. “They can give me any job, I’d like to do it,” I said. I washed it, ordered it, and then went to the garden to get grapes. I thought of what it was like when a hundred years ago pilgrims got food and lodging and worked in the same way as payers. I was glad to see that it was almost forty degrees, and the water flowed from me.
Since my little age I have loved to touch and hug the trees and plants. When an Argentinean pilgrim friend saw me, he shared an interesting legend. In his homeland, the old people say that walking in the woods has to carve the trees, because the soul of the deceased ancestors dwells in them. If you are friendly to them, you will gain the goodwill of the forest and be protected from the evil spirits.
I used to read somewhere that the touch of the trees and the barefoot forest walk is filled with energy. I tried and enjoyed it, it was good to get rid of hunting shoes. At the beginning, I was only cautious about one of my legs after another, I watched all my steps and then became more and more courageous and enjoyed the direct contact with the ground. It is very much in the head. I thought that I could not hurt myself, and indeed: I missed the two miles without a single scratch. To my surprise, even my knees were gone.
My left knee also improved with yoga, so every day I stopped “day greeting”. At the beginning, people were just looking at it, and they soon got a taste of it. At first, only one or two pilgrims joined me, and then they became more and more. In a couple of days, I was asked when and where I was planning a break, because they did not want to miss it. Many people do not know how important it is to stretch, especially after all-day stress. The muscles fall apart and then the problems come.
I met pilgrims who were constantly complaining. They stayed without bed or found the nicest accommodations, the worst restaurants, and the most arthritic hospital nights. This is exactly the opposite. Fair little albergues, homemade restaurants with friendly waiters and wonderful hosts. Sometimes I had to help the owner at community dinners. Simply because I saw how much food served me and somehow I wanted to end my gratitude. What does it cost me to get some plates, to wash or to clean?
By the way, I really understood how uplifting the service is. Whenever you do anything to make others happy. I’ve done my job generously and I did not expect anything in return. Seeing my enthusiasm, they enjoyed the hospital breaks, they were punished in several places. I remembered a Buddhist wisdom: “Before enlightenment: cut wood and carry water. After enlightenment: cut wood and carry water. “
How different was their way to the thousands of pilgrims a thousand years ago. Now, every comfort is guaranteed, you do not have to sleep in the sky, and even the hot shower is obvious (except when you run out of hot water). The Camino is highly valued for everything: bed, hot water, food and hot tea. Here he finds out how much he can be happy about, he starts to appreciate the little things that he used to take for granted. True to the saying: Pilgrims do not demand but thank you for everything. “The more I became self-confessed to this theory, the more I was in the good.
It was raining for days. I was just sad, I went to a small village church to rest. When I left, she stopped an old aunt and offered her umbrella. I did not believe in my ear. I just found it hard to convince me that I needed enough raincoats, there was a long way to go before I did not want to carry the umbrella.
One of my dear pilgrims wanted to give me my horseman’s gift, I got some chocolate, and later someone offered me some fruit, when nothing could be bought in a village and I was very hungry, and a boy left me a pastry. These little miracles came in the best possible moments, confirming my belief in Camino.
You can not stay hungry here
I believe it will help a lot if I drink lemon or lime every morning in a glass of hot water. For days I have not come to lemon when I hit a lemon grove. My first thought was to screech and cut off a fruit. There are so many, so I’m sure I will not harm the owner. But the inner voice sounded: theft is not worthy of a pilgrim. In the next village my honesty has been rewarded. There was an uncle in the backyard, and when I asked her a lemon shyly, not one, but he threw me for four. How true is the saying, “The Camino gives you everything you need.”
The next day, I asked for some spring onion, and she responded readily: it was too small, rather, it brought from the cellar a regular onion. I had to explain that I wanted the fresh, green part because they did not sell it in the shops. He gave a stack without thinking.The locals really help pilgrims in everything. If I got lost, I was always instructed, if there was no source and I knocked for some water, they were always willing.
By June I got to the middle of the cherry season. The two sides of the road were bordered by trees, but I did not dare to pick them up. I just saw a woman on the top of the tree. I was confused with it and it turned out that the locals always keep the way of the trees along the way to the pilgrims. It was incredibly kind to the woman, she wanted to call her in the garden to pick up cherries. I told him that I would find the one I could find next to the road, but he did not leave me , holding a bag full of crispy cherries.
At other times, nature took care of me if I was without food: lettuce, salad beetroot, dandelion, chicken, wild boar, acacia and foam on the cake: blueberries. I am grateful to all those who have taught me the knowledge of the delicacies on the woods field. My friends were just astonished when I explained what herbs are good for: mint, nettle, chicken, sage, liver, fennel, lynx, thyme, St. John’s wort, field catanthus, marmalade and verminous swallowtail.
In Gondola, I was in Santiago, when an unexpected event came back to the present. In a sharp bend, due to the tape limit, I could not get out of the way, so a sluggish truck almost hit. Due to the rich vegetation, the driver noticed that he was just watching the bend. I was embarrassed at the possibility of what might have happened, the wind of death was surging. But now, as I have been so many times in life, my guardians were with me. Or I was under the protection of the shell.