We walked casually and arrived at our albergue early afternoon. It was far enough for me but didn’t wreck me. I’m feeling much better and have found my sense of humour again. Yay!
The day consisted of plantations of Eucalyptus trees, Roman ruins, cows, manure and a strong breeze….tried to stay up wind.
It reminded me of my rhetorical question … what is your church?
So I can say fairly confidentially now, having inspected many (read too many) churches, chapels, cathedrals and ermitas, that these spaces aren’t my church. They are bounded spaces. They require you to align your experience to the centre altar. Your gaze is drawn to the altar. The altar or altars, depending on the size of the space, typically includes a crucified Jesus, with bloody wounds, dead on a cross. The alternative is usually Mary with baby Jesus on her lap. No violence just, distorted realism. It is a concentrated, intense, singular experience. The artistic genre is not warm or welcoming – for me, anyway. It is dark, brooding, intimidating. I cringe and move away. I appreciate that these religious pieces may invoke a completely different, even warm and loving response in others, but not in me. I wonder where the love is in these spaces? And then I leave. I’ve had enough. I go outside. I go out into the light, into the day, into the environment, into the sunlight, the breeze, the temperature, the noises of life … of animals and children and adults engaging. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing I’m back outside. Back to walking, back to moving, back to being in the open, boundless space, free of constraint, free to be, free to do. I’m outside, in my church. The Church of Outside. So today I came to appreciate that my walk is worshipful, revelling in life and the world outside. No wonder I like sea kayaking! Amen.🙏