Say not in grief that she is no more
But say in thankfulness that she was
A death is not the extinguishing of a light,
But the putting out of the lamp
Because the dawn has come
– R. Tagore
This month I am photo blogging about the Camino, and at this time last year, on this very day, I said goodbye to my wonderful sister Denise, promising her that my next Camino would be in her honor. She loved poppies and she would always comment on my poppy pictures I took for her on previous Caminos.
It is said that the first year after a loved one has left, is the hardest. We live all the typical celebrations, events, moments without them and these are all different – slightly tarnished in their incompleteness. I choose to let the tears fall but ask her spirit to help my heart be guided by the love we shared together.
I choose to let myself drift in thoughts of shared experiences, shred vacations, shared simple moments and shared quiet moments. I choose to smile at the sight of poppies (and there have been so many these past few weeks), the symbol I have made hers and hers alone.
I choose to rejoice in the fact that we siblings are very close and we share much love among ourselves. Love is a strong thread that keeps us together regardless if our presence is physical or spiritual.
When I undertook last year’s Camino I felt her presence with me at all times. Unfortunately, I was faced with cutting my journey short but I vowed with all my heart to return and finish the trek we both undertook.
It with this plan in mind, on this special day, that I renew my commitment to walk beside the fields of poppies, to feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, and her presence in my heart.
How lucky were we to walk through the Bierzo region of Spain (Castile-Leon) in prime cherry time. Trees overladen with the beautiful fruit sagged with the weight of their bounty. Spain is the second largest producer of cherries in Europe.
A sign “Comes lo que quieres” (Eat how many you want) invited us to sample the delicious fruit.Even Nestor enjoyed the succulent treats however many of us who might have overindulged a wee bit were reminded of our actions the very next day!
Cherubs are often found adorning churches along the Camino Way.
Whether these are considered cherubs or angels, I found them to be a great subject of many of my photographs.
I am still in awe that so much of Spain’s old statues and columns still stand today. Europe is so much older than our Americas, and it was a thrill to discover such art form.
I must admit that my first exposure to craftsmanship such as this statue was during my visit to the cathedral of Burgos. I spent so much time admiring the details of this work, the way the stone was carved to emulate fabric, and the intricate design of the face. Even the pillows seem soft and fluffy despite being carved out of stone. This is truly amazing work!
This is one of my favorite photographic capture of originality. This bar owner tabulated our purchases, pencil to counter. When the tab was paid, he’d strike across the total, and periodically would wash away the recent calculations. This was by far the most unusual accounting practice I have ever witnessed – but it seemed to work for him!
Cheers from the virtual Camino tour!
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