Some say it's a pile of stones dating back centuries; but to pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago the Cruz de Ferro is a powerful place of redemption.
Since 17th September I’ve been virtually retracing my pilgrimage steps on the Camino de Santiago, an annual ritual to remind me what I gained, what I was willing to toss away, marking my life as BC & AC: Before Camino and After Camino.
That cold dark morning I climbed the wet mountain trail to arrive at the Cruz de Ferro - also called the Iron Cross - bearing rocks for 16 friends and family members. Funny to be carrying all that extra weight when our packs are supposed to be pared down to the least we need. But I had promised that I would include my beloveds in this Camino ritual to set down burdens by leaving a rock and a prayer - even symbolically - leaving behind for them the weight of fears, heartbreak, mistakes, regrets, disappointments. For me it was fear of poverty.
What the Camino gave me then and continues to give me now is a profound sense of community I’ve found nowhere else. Whether we prayed for ourselves at the Cruz de Ferro or for the state of the world or for something in between I just know that our prayers were heard. And answered; but perhaps not in the way we expected. Why? Because we don’t get what we ask for; we get what we dream of. And that might take time to recognize.
We are all pilgrims on the road walking each other home the best way we can with compassion, stories, and believing that Each One Lift One is the way of the Buen Camino.