Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wonderful Christmas Gift - Life

Mom and Dad in Llandudno Whales October 2011

Written on Christmas Eve, 1513

I salute you.  I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. 
There is nothing I can give you which you have not.  But there is much,
very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.  No heaven can
come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.  Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.
Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow.  Behind it, yet within
our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. 
And to see, we have only to look.  I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver.  But we, judging its gifts by their covering,
cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard.  Remove the covering, and you
will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you.
Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there.
The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.  Your joys, too,
be not content with them as joys.  They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering,
that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.  Courage then to claim it; that is all!
But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together,
wending through unknown country home.

And so, at this time, I greet you, not quite as the world sends greetings,
but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and 
forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.

~ Fra Giovanni

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oct 7/11 SANTIAGO!!!

Before we left Monte Do Gozo, we wandered down the hill to where there were two status of Pilgrams standing pointing towards Santiago.  They were something! They stood over us and pointed towards Santiago in the distance.  I think these two figures were one of my very favorites that I'd seen thus far. 

Dad continued our walk into Santiago into the Cathedral grounds.  Here you'll find an open square that is where you view the front of the Cathedral and where you find all of the trekers/Peregrinos sprawled out on in having completed there this 500 mile journey.
The Cathedral is Huge and also absolutely enveloped with incredible detail.  It's hard to take it all in.
At 12 noon everyday they hold a mass for all the Peregrino's.  Dad and I sat through the service which was in Spanish, but being familiar with it in general it is easy to follow along.
Morten, Dad, Deklan, me and Els
We then went to collect our Compestellas...which is our certificates that we receive once when we've completed the Camino.  We ran into our German friends there, as well as the Norweigens. lol.  They beat us somehow.  All in good fun of course.
We found ourselves a Pension to stay in for the night and then did a little shopping.  We ran into our Irish friend Deklan who invited us out for dinner that night with a group of people he was meeting up with.  Dad said that Deklan (who seemed to be friends with EVERYONE) was someone they'd referr to as being full of the 'Blarney'. 
Anyway we met him in the square infront of the Cathedral and he, dad and I, as well as Els a woman from Holland and Morten and gentleman from Denmark enjoyed some fantastic food and a lot of wine and a couple rounds of shots.  Don't ask me what they were, but when we got back to the Pension it didn't take me long to fall asleep. :D .  It was a fitting end to a wonderful adventure.

Oct 7/11 Monte Do Gozo - Santiago

Dad and I reached Monte DoGozo today.  What an interesting scene.  There is a monument  built here in honor of Pope John Pauls visit in 2004.  Oddly enough just a few short years after it was built he passed away. There are dedications and plaques of art all around the base of the monument.  Towards the back of the monument that looks out towards Santiago there are stones and other dedications from other Peregrinos left, such as walking staffs, shoes, clothing, etc. I decided to leave the rest of my dedications here.  The first one I left was for a wonderful man who I only knew for a short time, but over came many road blocks and fought like the champion we all knew him to be.  I placed Pat Spirings LiveStrong band on the monument overlooking the beautiful city of Santiago.
My bestfriend, Leslie Wilson, lost her brother a year ago on September 2nd, 2010.  Although his passing was due to other circumstances I still wrote his name on a band and decided to place it on a branch of a tree at the edge of the platform overlooking Santiago and all of it's surroundings.  Leslie, now we can say he's seen it all.  He's traveled with me, through the vineyards, climbed the mountains, and enjoyed the intoxicating smells of the Eucalyptus trees and forests.  All my love to you and the Wilson family.

My last dedication, and certainly not the least, is on the cross formed out of walking sticks leaning against the monument to Pope John Paul.  I dedicated this one '4 THOSE STILL FIGHTING'.