Irritation, Little Things, and Mary – Burgos to Hornillos

I’m having a hard time being in a good space today. This morning we had a nice walk, I feel rested, and there is nothing pressing. The first day on the meseta was actually quite nice. But I am finding the flies and the smoking and even the conversation and laughter of the people around me irritating. In my life some days are just that way. I am hoping I have the energy and spirit to attend the Pilgrim Mass later – but I am not sure.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about all the decoration in the cathedral yesterday and I realize what I like to to is just focus on one little item – to let everything else drift away. It is more enjoyable, even spiritual, if I do that. Maybe it is the portrayal of a face, maybe it is a particular design, maybe it is something that seems out of place or unique. I’ve put some pictures of some of those things below. See if something stands out to you.

As we were walking along today Lena and I stopped at a humble little chapel dedicated to Mary. In the chapel were two nuns, one stamping pilgrim’s credentiales and the other offering small medallions to them. As the one sister came first to Lena and then to me she placed a medallion around our necks and said words (in Spanish) that can be translated something like, “May Mary be your protector on your Camino to Santiago and may she protect you from danger along the way (Camino) of life.” Now even when I was a Roman Catholic, I was not one with a great devotion to Mary, yet I never found that kind of devotion to be a problem. We often ask people around us to be our protectors and guides. So why not ask those saints who have passed on from this life to offer that same protection, to pray for us, to care for us in whatever ways that are available to them? In any case – I was moved and encouraged by this offering from this sister, this fellow pilgrim in life. May we all be guided and protected by mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, and friends—living or dead.

Author: Jim Zazzera

I find myself thinking about the past, wondering about the future, and doing my best to live in the present.

6 thoughts on “Irritation, Little Things, and Mary – Burgos to Hornillos”

  1. Answering your question of what stands out, for me it’s the beautiful design of the ceiling in grey’s, black and white. The symmetry of it all, they were great engineers and artists. I pray your day gets better for you, that there are less flies and smokers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. I look forward to them every day! 💞


  2. So typical Jim Zazzera: When having trouble persevering, you selflessly take the attention off yourself (although you tell us what is going on with you, which is GREAT!) and give us something to think about or concentrate on. I wish I understood the significance of all the statues and architecture I am looking at. The wall decor of what looks like ogres devouring fruit in bowls is the most intriguing to me. Would love to know what it signifies. Meanwhile, may all those flies find another habitat and the smokers’ journey give them the message to quit their unhealthy, annoying habit. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. They mean so much to us back here!


  3. I don’t know what would be more annoying, the smoke or the flies… or the empty space that allows you to focus more on the smoke and flies. Perhaps the smoke will drive the flies away (tiny little lungs) and the smokers will not be able to keep up with you and Lena. I pray the irritation is short lived. Blessings on you both.


  4. I’m inspired by your concept of focusing on just a piece of what can be an overwhelming spectacle. We spent a week in London on our way home from Kizimani and there were definitely places where there was “too much” to take in. Though we totally enjoyed the other couple we traveled with, I came to realize that my pace is different from theirs; I prefer to spend more time in one place and absorb it. And now I think I’ll try your focus idea a bit more as well.


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