Our daughter Sarah was readmitted to St Peter’s too weak to get out of bed and not eating on Friday 10/29. It was time to take a detour from our plans to finish the Camino all in one trip and return home to see to her care. Parenting leads us on many unexpected turns in our journey. This change is not the end of our pilgrimage but another turn in the road and the fruit it will bear is yet to be revealed.
It was a miraculous and bittersweet departure. God’s abundant provision for our return home was overwhelming at times as we realized all the necessary provisions were right there and we needed only to ask. A young and caring man, Pero who could speak both Spanish and English (He just happened to be at the Nuestra Senora del Pilar alburgue in Rabanal where we were registered to spend the night.) when we got the news our daughter was readmitted to the hospital. Pero helped us navigate our way through the mass transit system getting us a ride from the alburgue owner, Isabel Rodriguez in Rabanal to Astorga and a bus ticket from Astorga to Madrid. He also helped us make a 800 #call to Continental Airlines to rearrange a flight to Newark as soon as possible. Each connection was made in ample time to get the next transport.
We are grateful to be home safely and have our privacy, warm water, towels and green vegetables but we sorely miss the rituals and rhythms of the Camino way of life. Our walks and time being in creation appreciating all God has made had a powerful effect on us. We miss following the arrows and shells along the Way going through each new village or town. It was like being on a treasure hunt as we discovered the hidden gems around each corner. We miss the wide variety of people from all different cultures and countries. No words can adequately capture the power of being on the Way to Santiago.
We do plan to return to Rabanal and finish the Camino in the spring, God willing. It was starting to get very cold and darker in the morning as we began our walks. The snow was coming to the mountains the day we departed. It may just be that when we return it will be a little warmer on the Way to Santiago. We left in such haste our hiking poles were forgotten. Isabel Rodriguez kindly offered to keep them for us until we return so we can take them for the remainder of our journey. In the the meantime the pilgrimage continues in our hearts and lives. We will have time to ready ourselves for the final third. We will be sharing our photos with you once we get past the jet lag and hospital visits.
May each step draw us deeper into the Presence of the One who made us and provides for our every need.
We give thanks for your kind support, offers to help and prayers,
Blessings and prayers, Karen and Ed