Day 13: The Farther You Go, The Further You Can See
Left Astorga way later than expected but went further than expected. I hiked 17 miles and climbed 4800 feet to the top of Monte Irago. I am settled in at the Albergue with the same name in the town that time forgot: Foncebadon. It's 5 pm here and this fire feels amazing. This Albergue makes me feel at home and the proprietor, Manuel promises Spanish Paia tonight if enough pilgrims check in before 6 pm. This place is muy comfortable. There is a sign on the wall that says "We Give Massages. Thirty minutes-10 euro". Uh....I see no one here even remotely qualified, clean, much less that appears to have showered in several weeks that's touching my back! Uh, no thankso! As much as a massage would be great, I'm afraid some Deliverance music would magically start playing on the guitar in the corner!
Good walk today. The snow was actually amazing to walk in. Much better to walk on it than in it!
Walked through the best little ciudads. I watched dads push their kiddos on sleds. I saw old ladies sweeping the little porches to their Tiendas. I stopped at of them for a coffee sin leche. (I just figured out how to ask for coffee black)! And the best part, the sun came out about 3 miles into the hike.
I met a 25 year old, South Korean kid, 4th year sociology major, doing an exchange in Paris this semester. His name was Hobok. He is walking the Camino to check off his list, or as Lindy used to say, bucket list. We walked and talked about trivial things. He wanted to know what things I worried about at 25 years old in America. I simply told him I was only worried about our next gig, next cover tune to learn and what truck driving attire i could find at the local thrift stores as stage clothes! (And whether I should sign up then and get on the liver transplant list early).
We talked about the SK economy and if he will be able to get a job there when he gets home. He did teach me something I never knew. He was in the US Army through a program called KATUSA in Korea that allows the Korean teenagers to do their mandatory 2 year military service in the US Army/Navy.
The last 4 miles of the walk were what I would call the-by-far-toughest hike to date. It was over 1 foot of snow each step. Its was a steady vertical incline for miles. It was over a melted stream of frozen and running water and snow that occasionally caused you to break through the ice and be ankle deep in water before you could feel it. It was treacherous and at one point I was absolutely certain I was off path, yet again.
I left Hobok in Rabanal right after lunch to get a good start on the afternoon. I was at least 45 minutes in front of him. Yet, as I walked into Foncebadon he snuck up right behind me! That's 25 vs 40! Dang I miss being young! We checked into the same Albergue
As I write and drink my Spanish beer several pilgrims are coming in. Looks like Spanish Paia is for dinner! Yeah! I love that stuff. Their is no better place for it than, well, in Spain!
I did have some incredible spiritual revelations today from my devotionals. I learned i may having been asking for the wrong things. Instead of trusting God to "give me" things, like peace and understanding about my wife's transition to heaven, I should just be trusting God to get me "through" this. He must be tired of people trying to short cut him. Big lessons learned and it is what I plan on dwelling on the rest of he walk as I prepare to come home in a week or so.
There is a letter (more a love note) I have been carrying with me. It's is the box I plan to set sail after the walk. I never realized this letter touched Lindy so much until Katanna sent me an email 2 days ago with a copy of this letter attached. She told me Lindy was really moved by this letter. She was moved enough to share it with her and Cindy.
I wrote it to Lindy right after the diagnosis of the third tumor. O told her life has punched is and that i would continue helping her punch back. I told her that I appreciated everything she did from keeping an incredible, loving, clean home for us despite me:) to helping me remember birthdays, anniversary for friends and family (always had a problem with this) to the greatness of how to write a proper thank you note. I told her how much I loved when she cooked for us. Told her that amidst such trials she is amazing and that I am happy to be in Team Lindy Lou all year long.
I also told her that something amazing was going to come out of this new tumor. Something amazing for you; for me; for us. I just know it.
As I sit here and ponder this comment and reread this letter, I am not confused. Lindy got to go to Heaven and live pain free and I am learning to live. The seeds she has unknowingly planted in me has caused me to rekindle my relationship with God and rethink my time I spend doing every little thing I do. The value I place now on other things important to me will forever change me for the better. Thank you again Lindy. You are truly amazing.
I love you very much Lindy,