Today I walked 21 km from Roncesvalles to Zubiri, a small town in Navarra. Navarra is part of the Basque region of Spain and France, and all the road and street signs are in Spanish and Euskera, the Basque language. It has been fun speaking Spanish again and reacquainting myself with the culture.
The Spanish consider Roncesvalles to be the start of the Camino de Santiago. There’s a very modern pilgrim’s shelter there, modernized in 2011.
The shelter is located in what used to be an Augustinian monastery, and it’s attached to a church that was originally built in the twelfth century.
Last night I attended a special mass for pilgrims to receive a blessing, the same blessing that has passed down through the centuries since medieval times.
There was a beautiful gold light illuminating the altar, and above hung a statue of the Virgin Mary made of gold-plated walnut.
The priest spoke of the mystery of the faith, of the word of God, but the mystery that he spoke of that touches my heart the most is the mystery of nature. That’s where I go to connect with what it means to be free and at peace.