First things first, does my bum look big in this? ……..
What do you mean 250 likes?
A long walk today but not too arduous, some gentle hills and equality gently descents, just one hill an interesting 950 above sea level….. and here at Iglesias, the high point I placed Bernard’s poem……
We passed this place yesterday just outside Burgos, it has guard posts (with guards and guns) and razor wire, but what is it? Hatty thought a prison, but do they build prisons that fancy? I opted for some sort of experimental laboratory, Spain’s answer to Portland Down? Any suggestions?
Not all of the Camino is peace and quiet, the modern world abruptly and rudely interrupts one’s thoughts….fortunately these days the Camino either takes a tunnel under the main road, or there is a bridge provided for pedestrians over the motorways and big roads, apparently too many Pilgrims were being killed and that was proving very bad for business…….And of course a lot of Spain is falling down but I rather warm to this solution……I liked this mural in Hornillos del Camino……Good walking weather, until the wind decided to play a part, which was after this photo was taken……And a little evening sunshine certainly brightened my day…….And here, also at Iglesias, was the familiar cross of St James, with graceful windmills in the background. Spain has one of the best records for renewable energy, it seems crazy that we still burn fossil fuel, and rob the earth. Or make nuclear power with waste we can’t dispose off , when already the solutions are out there……But back on the road and what is this I see before me…….Pilgrims a plenty……..They turned out to be a Spanish group who are taking a guided tour of the Camino, they were actually staying at our lodgings last night, and have now just arrived at the same place here in Castrojeriz. I have a fascination for all the colours that surround me on my way, the lichen on the bushes by the side of the road….It catches a creative spark unawares and I long to mix these gentle colours together in my work…..At Hontanas the wind was picking up and getting very lively, and were it not for the fact that it’s full in the face might make me walk a little faster……Out to the south the clouds are gathering……The promised rain looks on the way…Up ahead the sky is still blue….. but the path is long……Then quite suddenly the Camino throws something quite unexpected at you and around a bend I arrive at the ruins of the Convent of St Anton……With the road running straight through it …..The building was founded in 1146, and the order was dedicated to the care of Pilgrims and to cure those who suffered from the “Fire of St Anton”, a disease that spread during the Middle Ages. It seems that when the order had disappeared in 1787, the convents possessions passed both to nearby Churches and indeed into private hands….In 2002 a Pilgrim shelter was founded here, and as I passed it I could hear music…..Lover’s have always had “their songs” and Bernard and I were no different, one of those songs was……”The way you wear your hat, the way we danced til three, the memory of all that; No, no they can’t take that away from me…….” well he did always sport a Panama hat in the summer months……Just imagine, in the courtyard a jazz musician was playing, and a girl with a most beautiful voice was singing this, one of “our songs”, I stopped and listened for a while before carrying on up the very windy road, a huge smile on my face and peace in my heart……My Church today was this one at Hontanas, and yes it was unlocked, it can’t be more than eight feet long and maybe six feet wide………It’s the Church of St Bridget of Sweden, who was born in 1373, into a noble family and was closely related to the Swedish Royal family. From early childhood she had visions. Once the child said she saw the Virgin Mary place a crown on her head. Another time she saw Jesus tortured and dead on the cross…..When Bridget was ten years old her mother died and she was sent to live with an aunt, who married her off to Uif Gudmasson at the age of 13. History does not recount how many children they had, but one of their children was later declared a Saint, Saint Catherine of Sweden.In 1341 Bridget and her husband went on a pilgrimage to Santiago, the round trip lasted for three long years. Shortly after their return Uif died and Bridget was left a widow. She then declared that when she buried her husband, she buried with him all carnal love and all things of the earth, and she wished the rest of her life to be free and to commend herself to God.She went on to write books and drew up rules for religious orders. She founded a convent, and the first Swedish printing press…..She lived the later part of her life in Rome and was canalised in 1391 by Boniface x and again in 1999 by Pope John Paul 2nd who proclaimed her patroness of Europe…This little Hermitage was built in her memory….St Bridget……The painted roof inside the dome………I lingered here a while, and then my mind turned suddenly to euphemisms…… Bernard hated most euphemisms but at the same time found some extremely funny…..He would not have wanted me to say that he passed away, or that I lost him, one loses a key or a purse, most loses are either found or can be replaced. Vicars and priest all over the world will not be saying, and then they nailed Jesus to the cross, and then he passed away, or, and then we lost him. But I find myself saying, my husband passed away, or, I lost my husband. I say it because that blunt truth…. Bernard died, still hurts to say, and I think still hurts others to hear such bluntness. Death, the finality, we all know that we won’t find him or that he can be replaced…..My answer….. well, I like to think that he has gone home, wherever that may be, but he’s gone back to the place from whence he can, home, safely home……..Why cry for a soul set free? Love Susan x