Travels of a New Christian

Leon to Villar de Mazarife – Day 20

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My last night in Leon and I was clearly ready to get back on the Camino.  I’d rested my feet long enough.  They’re not in great shape, but much better than when I arrived.  I turned in – lights out – at 10:00pm, with a wake-up at 5:45am.  Packed my backpack that evening; carefully inventorying what I had and what I needed.  All in order.  I’d take care of my feet infirmities in the morning, so I left out the medical tape and scissors.  Now I needed just one more thing…. perhaps all of Leon could quit partying out there on the streets of the old city.

Well, that was not to be had this evening.  This was a festival weekend, and all of the nearby streets to the Leon Cathedral were full of people.  And when I say they partied all night, I mean all night.  On a couple of occasions  I awoke; at about 2:00am, then again at 3:35am, and once more about 4:15am.  Each time I was melodiously met with people’s voices, shouts, and mutual singing.  At the earlier times, there was even live music in the streets; calling us all to a Leonese conga line.  I swear at one moment I heard the “clickity click” of at least 1000 senoritas working their castanets.  I was seriously  tempted to join in this nocturnal madness, but took some measure of my future daybreak and task ahead.  I slept on.

At 5:45am, my wristwatch alarm went off.  I laid there for a minute, letting my senses acclimate to my surroundings, and for a moment I thought I heard silence.  Leon had gone home to bed…… no, no they had not.  Still out there!  To their good report, when I took to the Camino that wound itself past the Cathedral, San Isodore, and the Hostal de San Marcos, the final gasps of dragons ( get it… “drag ons”) were returning to their caves, and the street cleaners were out in force with over-sized brooms and water hoses.  It was nippy morning.  I pulled my hood over my head and sucked my hands up into the sleeves of my coat.  I headed out of town, happy to be back on the Camino – for sure.

Getting out of town took several kilometers of commercial zone to wash past me; as if I was cleansing myself for the hopeful, remote countryside I was promised in my guidebook.  And it did come.  I was indeed out of the Meseta from the past week, and had entered a new land; one I am told has belonged to the Maragatos – a resilient ethnic and cultural society – for over a century.  The landscape was rougher, more trees mixed with fields, and the architecture seemed more rudimentary; especially the oldest records of the architecture – the churches.

It is good to get back out here – on The Way.  It is always comforting to come back to the discipline.  One knows what’s there.  One knows what to expect.  One can look behind to see where they’ve been, and look forward to see what’s ahead.  Things do feel decidedly different, and they are.  When I left St. Jean Pied de Port on May 31st, I was quite a different person from who I am now.  I do hope it is a difference that pleases God, and brings me another step closer to His will.  I do know I am happy and at peace here as I write this post to you all.  There is still suffering ahead.  I’ve got a long way to go, but for now,

“I thank you Lord for your provisions, your mercy, and your good counsel.”

Through God’s grace, I am justified.  Now I must walk out that which I seek – sanctification.

Love and God Bless – Reese

Author: Reese

Happily married to my forever wife, Kathryn, we live in Naples, Florida. We have one son, Miles, who at the young age of twenty-four, constantly amazes us with his maturity, his drive, kindness, and generosity. He listens to God better than I ever had throughout most of my life. I am a designer of homes and furniture; finding my career to truly be my calling, for I am at my best when I am helping to guide a family into their ideal home; surrounding themselves with those things that give them the most joy; encouraging the family bond. The purpose of this blog is to talk about the crossroads between the theistic and the secular worlds. To discuss how these two disparate worlds run parallel to one another for so many good reasons; how they frequently cross one another for a moment and then move away, and how they can entangle like an inner-city highway system. For all such interactions you'd have to believe there would be a fluent, common language by which to communicate and demonstrate respect for all, and yet each camp maintains its own unique language separate from the other, and how the translations we attempt have become so difficult to understand.

One thought on “Leon to Villar de Mazarife – Day 20

  1. Beautiful photos again!! Your journey is not only filled with awe but I see the grace of God wherever you go! Godspeed and God bless!


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