Day 24. Rabanal to Molinaseca 28.6km w/ 600m change in elevation.
Refreshed spiritually and rejuvenated physically from our retreat in Rabanal, we were excited to make our way past one of the pinnacle locations along the Camino, Cruz de Ferro. With our stones brought from home in hand, we made our journey up the mountain side with thoughts of our past that we hoped to leave behind on the Camino. Winding up the mountain side, we weaved between trees and cliffs, slipping over rocks and tripping over boulders, we saw in the distance the cross situated on a tall pole off in the distance. Our destination was in sight!
With renewed energy our pace quickened to make our way past fellow pilgrims in hopes to feel a since of solitude and peace at the foot of the cross and the pile of stones surrounding it. Crossing the final road before the cross, a tour bus passed before us making its way to the cross. With the sun beating down overhead and sweat dripping down our face and neck we reluctantly pressed forward clinging to our rocks and hoping still for a moment of solace.
Surrounding the Cruz de Ferro, were a hoard to onlookers whose pilgrimage was made by bus ride alone. Disappointment set in and the sacredness of the space was fumigated by the perfume of exhaust. This was not the place to cast aside our stones.
Our journey is not yet over and our pilgrimage still has more to teach us. The burden which we carry needs to be released, but only when we, and its ties to us, are ready. It’s destination we believe is the final end our journey, the edge of Spain, the ocean shore at Finisterre.
Pressing on past our disappointment, we continued our winding up the mountain, until we reached the highest point along the route to Santiago. It was there admits the breeze of the cool wind, the heat of the warm sun, and the scenery displayed entirely around us that we felt the solitude and redemption that we had longed for at the Cruz de Ferro.
While I did not place my stone at this mountain top, it was for me a chance of honest relief and humble acceptance. I, so often, have an idealist picture in my mind and dream beyond doubts for my vision to become reality. Disappointment is rarely in my vocabulary as I twist and rework all outcomes to mold in my favor. At the Cruz de Ferro, disappointment was the only possible outcome. Nothing would change the hoard of tourists who made their passage by bus. Nothing would change the man situated near the top who haphazardly whizzed past me on his bike. Nothing could change the fact that my expectation of this place did not match the reality before me. The only thing I could do was to release my anger, frustration, and disappointment and press onward with the same physical weight clutched between my fingers but a deeper bourdon lifted off my soul.