RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
is better experienced
on roads less traveled.
Departed at 7:30 AM°.
Today, I sent my backpack forward. All I carried was my "frontal" (the term used to describe the small fanny pack I wear in front). There's an unspoken judgment about not carrying one's backpack as if walking wasn't difficult enough. I've come to believe that everyone's Camino is their own; the way one gets from point A to point B is unique. Today for me, the lack of weight felt nice...a well-deserved break.
Leaving town, I walked past cappuccino-colored earth and rows of yellow fields, wonderful to look at but fairly common at this point. For about fifteen minutes however, the clouds were dramatic and I concentrated less on my steps, looking up more than down. I cared not if rain came. The opportunity to see this storm rolling in was reward for the day or so I thought.
Ahead, I remembered an alternate route. I walked this way last year and I knew when the road forked, I would come to La Casa de los Dioses - The house of the Gods. The property was owned by David Vidal, an energetic and gracious man who had lived in this out of the way place for years. I wondered how he could sustain it, much less live in such a humble abode. Each day he would walk the 7k to Astorga to replenish the fruit and drink he provided freely to passing pilgrims. It was a totally "donativo" oasis, which meant people left only as much money as they could. Along with a dozen or so other pilgrims, I was glad to have veered right.
Today was what my mom used to call "a red letter day". The day began at the right place at the right time. I experienced a wide array of color in the earth and fury in the sky and met once again a man who, when I looked into his piercing, slate-blue eyes, I thought I must be seeing the eyes of a saint. Reward comes in many ways.