Cruz de Ferro is the highest point on the Camino, capped with a cross that has attracted millions of Pilgrims over the centuries.
Modern day Pilgrims walk with a stone they have brought with them from home. During the journey it is to be imbued with the burdens of their life. Grief, pain, regret, and more. But also gratitude and hope. At Cruz de Ferro they leave the stone, along with a host of other things like prayer flags, notes, or prayer cards. When they walk away from Cruz de Ferro they should feel lighter. Shed of their burdens, and with their hopes in the hands of God.
When I walked the Camino in 2017, I called out to friends and asked if they wanted me to carry a stone for them. Most had never heard of the Camino, but some quietly asked if I would do so on their behalf. I was happy to oblige.
Last September I asked those who read this blog if anyone wanted me to carry a stone – for them or a loved one. I know Covid made it difficult for people to travel. Many people reached out, so I selected rocks from my personal rock collection for just this purpose and loaded them up for the trip to St Jean. Then I injured my knee walking down from Romcesvalles. And when I had to stop in Uterga I felt a little guilty that I hadn’t fulfilled my promise.
After coming home I unpacked my pack and stored it in the barn. But the stones never left the pocket where I put them. And they remained there as I repacked it and set out again nearly a month ago. So for those of you who sent me personal messages for yourself or a loved one, I will be placing your stones at the foot of the cross tomorrow. Alongside my own. If you asked me to read something specific, especially in memoriam, I will do that too. I know it’s important and I apologize it took me an additional six months to fulfill your request.
If there is anyone else who is new to the blog, I am happy to place one for you, too. Please let me know today. You can use the Contact menu so as to keep it private.
Although I am not religious, rituals mean a lot to me. They carry a weight and an energy that connects us all to something greater than ourselves. I don’t pretend to understand it, but I know it to be so. And for those who asked me to place a stone for you, it is my honor. My hope is that your burdens will feel a little lighter this Semana Santa. 🙏 I hope that for us all. Buen Camino.