My favorite experience today was how our adventure really gave us the opportunity to get to know each other so much more. We all had breakfast together and then walked up the path to the monument of Roland. The walk wasn’t easy, but the view was incredible. We stopped outside a church by the monument to read the Song of Roland. Dr. Ron directed and we alternated every few lines between two main groups, the girls and the guys, and John, who read the first two lines of each stanza. It was really neat to sing the song (which was an oral tradition) at the site of the battle. Even more cool was how we all managed to find rhythm together. Afterwards we continued to climb higher into the mountains. Throughout different portions of the walk we got to really talk to each other a lot and learn more about the group. I’m really excited for our future adventures together and getting to know everyone more.
When I first decided to participate in this trip I had a firm notion of what kind of emotions it would evoke. I was confident that as someone who was about to undertake a pilgrimage for purely adventurous reasons the sights and experiences would simply make me feel appreciation of the beauty of the trail, but in these last few days I have started to feel a sense of spirituality and camaraderie I didn’t expect. There was something about knowing I was finally walking along the Camino, a road that has been used for hundreds of years by a countless number of pilgrims, that made me feel connected to something larger than myself. Near the end of that day's walk when we reached the peak of a mountain, I felt so exhausted and yet so accomplished and proud of myself and imagined that this is what it must feel like to be a pilgrim. After getting back to the hotel to relax and eat we got to hang out with some other pilgrims which was such a neat experience. We couldn’t understand each other but there was such a strong bond and willingness to just be in the others presence that it didn’t matter, spending hours just laughing and enjoying the company.
As I look at this image I feel a sense of joy come over me. What I am looking at is not a boy professing his faith and kneeling down before God rather the story behind this photo. Taken in a cathedral located in the small town of Roncesvalles, Spain during what it seemed liked as an act of destiny. Everyone has a different perception of what is destiny and if it evens exist but for the purpose of this blog I will address it as it does and it simply cannot be altered. The series of events started when I first arrived to the town of Roncesvalles with heavy thoughts on my mind and thought it would be best to explore. During my walk to clear my mind I came across an ongoing mass. I was born a Catholic however I have not attended a Catholic mass in quite sometime however I figured why not? Although it was not what happened to me during the mass but after from a priest and his student. It was a handshake and me asking a simple question if a tour could be offered for my fellow historian classmates and to my surprise it was an absolute plus some. Throughout this last minute tour I saw my classmates express many expressions that I haven't felt in quite sometime; excitement, happiness, and appreciation. What I viewed as something small turned out to have a larger unexpected impact on the others around me. What I felt was amazing and what I saw in my fellow colleagues the passion, excitement and joy for their major was simply a greater gift in itself. How this picture came about was an act of destiny.