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Day 11 - To Ages


June 7, 2014 - Distance Traveled: 27.9 -


I began the day walking through fields of flowers and through a quick succession of several small villages.


I stopped for my first break of the day and ate an orange and some nuts in the shadow of this small church.


While we all gathered for cafe con leche at about the 9 km mark, 3.5 kilometers later, I was alone when I started climbing up into the mountains, leaving behind the rolling barley and flower fields which I was walking through in the morning. Oaks and then pines lined the path now. The pines are not as tall as the ones back at home in California, but they still have the amazing aroma of a forest. The next 9 km would not only be town free, but would also involve several steep climbs. Little did I know, the struggle of the hills would also be the place where I processed the struggle of the last two years.

I thought the climb would go easier if I were listening to music. I picked from the limited playlist on my iphone. The second song was "Worn" by Tenth Avenue North. The lyrics go like this: "My soul feels crushed by the weight of this world. I know that you can give me rest, so I cry out with all that I have left. Let me see redemption win. Let me know the struggle ends. That you can mend a heart that is frail and torn. I want to know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life, and all that is dead inside can be reborn, cause I'm worn" Unexpectedly, my heart connected with the song in a way it hadn't before. Tears started to flow down my cheeks...then weeping...and then sobbing.

I knew the Italian men were somewhere behind me. I just hoped they were not so close that they could hear me. I didn't have the courage to turn around and look, but I was brave enough to cry out to God and tell him everything I was feeling. I hit the repeat button on the playlist and allowed my heart to stay in this place until their were no more words and no more tears. By the time I arrived in St. Juan de Ortega, I felt like something significant has shifted in my soul.



My arrival in St. Juan De Ortega was timed perfectly to take in the processional, which I imagined was dedicated to St. Juan himself. I showed up an hour ahead of my clan, and just a few minutes before it seemed the whole village gathered to take part in the parade. Not long after the marching was completed my Camino family arrived. According to the guide book, this was to be our stopping point for the evening, but the large crowds encouraged us to keep walking. Our friend Samantha decided to stay. We pressed on an additional 3.6 km to the village of Ages.





The walk to Ages was a gift. The morning had been filled with tears and grief. It was necessary and good, but transitioning into the afternoon in the company of those I was walking with lifted my soul. Whatever weight I carried through the mountains in the morning seemed much lighter as we shared the good way in the afternoon.


Ages was a sleepy little village. The albergue was nice and clean. We went about out normal routine of showering, washing, and then finding something to eat. It was good to just sit around the table and share life, or take a walk and explore the church at the end of the street.


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