Day 14 Still on La Meseta… “Amazing grace how sweet the sound… once was lost but now am found.”

To say that today did not start out well is a huge understatement. As we packed up to leave our albergue I could not find the stone I had carried from the States and planned to leave at Cruz de Ferro representing all the people who supported us, asked for our prayers, asked special intentions or had held the stone imparting their private prayers, blessings and intentions to it. It was a Camino tradition I found great meaning in and now the stone I had cherished and carried so far was gone. We looked and looked but could not dilly dally any longer. As we left in the darkness I was inconsolable, bereft and sobbing. My better half, who knows me better perhaps than I know myself, started to chant an almost wail like prayer of petition and consolation. It went a long way to help calm me down. Still, I struggled for some time in the silence that followed Marc’s chant to realize that I had lost a stone but not the intentions the stone symbolized or represented. These were safely tucked in my heart. It took a while in the relative peace Marc had created for me to see that I was attached to a thing, my stone, clinging to it and finding it so hard to let the thing go and let myself see that the most cherished prayers, blessings and intentions were not lost. I still had them and when I stood at Cruz de Ferro I would not stand there empty handed. I would pour my heart out and leave everything in it there. I still missed not having the stone I had so carefully chosen from our collection of Petoskey stones. I also learned anew how our attachments to things can blind us. I was perpetuating my own suffering and this blinded me to the real meaning of the tradition behind Cruz de Ferro. A lightness in letting go seemed to come and coincide with the sun just beginning to rise and we both continued on in silence.

A beautiful sunrise that transforms darkness into glorious light.

This picture doesn’t do justice to a relatively steep descent of 200 meters after climbing 200 meters 2 kilometers earlier.

A new day dawning.

Puente de Itero bridge crossing into Itero de la Vega. This also brings us into the province of Palencia.

Panorama of what La Meseta is like.

Another La Meseta panorama.

Marc at a beautiful poplar lined path on La Meseta.

Part of the Canal de Castilla; an 18th century maze of man made canals dug to provide irrigation so La Meseta could be farmed.

The albergue Estrella where we were staying in Fromista.

Iglesia de San Martin. The church was consecrated in the year 1066 AD some 32 years before the Cistercian order was founded.

Iglesia de San Martin.

Iglesia de San Martin.

Sanctuary Iglesia de San Martin.

One of many capitals in the church… all different.

Main altar in the Iglesia San Pedro, Fromista.

Statue of St. Benedict in San Pedro.

Shrines in the rear of San Pedro.

Courtyard of the albergue we stayed in.

Postscript: “Amazing grace how sweet the sound… once was lost but now am found.”

That night with Marc helping me to unroll and open my sleeping bag, to our amazement there lay my lost Petoskey stone. Deo Gratias!