Tuesday, 22 October 2013

In the eye of the storm

There have been many 'moments' during the Camino . Yesterday there was another . When I arrived soaked at the albergue I told the owner that I would want to wash some clothes.Apart from the wet clothes I hadn't done any washing in Santiago! He told me where to put the clothes and how much it would cost. I waited for the previous wash to finish . I was amused that an Italian lady came down and the owner told her that she would have to wait until I had done mine . Eventually the machine was ready but I couldn't get the money in! The owner was amused saying that I needed a token . He set the machine up and I went to the bar to write a post.
Shortly before supper the owner appeared with my wet washing . The drier in the albergue is not very good so I will dry yours in our house he said! Later in the evening he appeared with it again . I will leave it in the laundry he added . I was not aware that the same service was offered to any other guest.
I slept well comfortable in the knowledge that there was no point in getting up before 7.00 am . As I was leaving another guest joined up with me . He turned out to be Yuri a doctor from Latvia and we had a great day together . There was an amusing incident early on . We lost the way markers and,after a while,I suggested that we retrace our steps . We rejoined the path and then after 20 minutes found ourselves 50 metres from where we had turned round.Yuri is a Catholic and,like so many Catholics,whom I have met on the Camino divorced and remarried . I reflected that the Code of Canon Law begins with the assertion that the supreme law of God is the salvation of souls and yet the Church permanently excludes from communion so many people.
At our bar stop in a tiny village one of the ladies came in to see who we were . When she heard that I was a priest she said that if I was staying the night I could have said mass for them!
Today is a vindication of the phrase that 'fortune favours the brave'.In the appalling conditions of yesterday I thought that I was being foolhardy. (That this was folly in Eliots words) Today the wind has been gale force but we have not used waterproofs once.
At lunch the young Italian girl who had been in a bunk opposite me last night greeted me warmly . After lunch she surprised me by asking if she could walk with me for a few kilometres . After three kilometres I told them that I was stopping for the night.Yuri thanked me for the day and insisted on taking my photo . The girl is going to Muxcia first and then Finisterre . We will meet again on Thursday she said.
Domingo the owner of the Albergue is very friendly . He offered proper sheets and towels . I have a room with only 4 bunks and I am only 30km from the end of the earth!
Yesterday Galician television was full of the storm which was clearly strong even by local standards and we had passed through it.

1 comment:

  1. I once visited Cape St Vincent, a very Westerly point in Portugal's Algarve. It was summer, warm and sunny but the wind blew strongly and the waves, 75 metres below the cliff top, crashed against the rocks separating the blue sea form the white breakers. It was spectacular. The knowledge that there was nothing but ocean between Europe and America added a mysterious aspect to the occasion. I hope Finistere is the same for you.
    I too am troubled by the apparent dichotomy between salvation and exclusion. Not all divorces are the result of fault on one side or the other or indeed both. How can a young inexperienced couple who conclude after a fair attempt to make a go of marriage that their future together will be miserable be expected to choose between communion and worldly happiness? How can the children of a subsequent union be expected to embrace the Faith if their parents are excluded? It is no wonder that the Canon Lawyers find spurious reasons for annulment and such hoop jumping serves no real moral purpose in my view. I think Christ expects compassion, forgiveness and the hope of salvation for all.