Route: Mansilla de las Mulas – León
Distance: 19 + 9 km (Total: 428 km)
Day XVII of my journey was full of many interesting things.
The night before we spent in Mansilla de la Mulas where we stayed at La Pension Blanca. The conditions were much nicer than in an albergue. Interestingly, in this city no albergues are open during the winter season. Perhaps it is too close to León?
What a beautiful lunar halo over Jesus, isn’t it? I admit, I copied this photo idea from Henry.
Just as we planned, today’s walk was relatively short. We marched mostly along a busy road to León. The last kilometers before reaching the city were quite a climb. I was thinking after which hill we are finally going to see the city.
First mountain before Leon. Movie
Entering the city we could see the beautiful cathedral „without walls”. In a distance some snow-capped mountain tops were lurking. Those beautiful views notwithstanding my mind was on something else, i.e another lunch at our restaurant La Tagliatela with Henry after 3,5 hour of non-stop walk.
To my great joy the restaurant happened to be very close to our hotel. The lunch, according to Henry, was outstanding. He could not remember last time he had such a delicious meal. We laughed that we are a bit wierd pilgrims to be dining so well on the way, at least from time to time anyway. Again my favorite sentence from the bible comes to mind from St. Paul …. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
The hotel, Le Petit León, I reserved for us, is inexpensive and has great location. And myself I got even a private terrace, so probaly I can do some laundry.
After attending to my ailing legs I decide to do some sights. First, I want to attend a Holy Mass, then buy a pair of hiking socks. The ones I have been using start to fray a bit. I mended them last night trying to remind myself how to do it properly. I am not sure how long the fix is going to last? I have got a few other pairs but I think they are not too good for me feet as they might be responsible for my blister a few days ago. Generally speaking I recommend Smart Wool type of socks in the thinner version with some sole cushioning.
As for the Mass unfortunately it took place at the chapel next to the main Cathedral. Anyway I sang joyfully the vespers in Spanish. My kids should be happy they are not with me right now. They do not like when I sing out loud. It ashames them a bit. They are at such an age that they like to keep a low profile. I hope it passes one day.
Back to the signing, how not to sign? I have received a signing talent from God. Besides, most people sit in pews with they mouths shut. Why do they even come to church!!!?? After all the Holy Mass is Eucharisic Feast not a funeral! Since I seem to have fallen into some prophetic elation it is time to land now.
Vespers at the Leon Cathedral. Movie
In the evening I was strolling around the old town again admiring magnificent illuminations. My friend from Madrid, Piotr, recommended to try a local brand of chorizo piccante, that León is famous for. Though chorizo is pretty well known around the world this particular one has a unique hot taste. I am glad it is not Friday today. Now I just need to get a bottle of wine, cheese, olives and find my Camino companion to taste it all together. In the end we are to relax a bit today before a couple of hard days ahead of us. Plus I do not want to end up carrying all that stuff I bought in my backpack tomorrow.
It turns out Henry is in some bar near our hotel and tasting local tapas and wine. I join him. It looks like a long night.
Meditation XVI. Simplicty – you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about…
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, „Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.
But the Lord said to her, „My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details. There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.
Lk 10, 38-42
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
1 J 2, 15-17
Among several reflections that came to me during meditation one really stood out. If I can’t rejoice in little things, here and now, it will be difficult to establish full relationship with God. After all he is everywhere. Without enjoyment of little things it is hard to deepen the relationship with him and throug Himw with others, let along experience great spirituality.
He is the source of everyhting, and His word leads straight to Him.
The alternative, which is the life based on desiring material things, advancement, recognition etc is the road to nowhere. This is the road that has no end. You will just toil and in the end you will gave to give it all up on this planet.
Time flies, enternity awaits