It’s January, which usually is, historically, the lowest point in the year around here.
It’s gray and misty and cold. The fields are just barely green, the animals are shut in the barn, the bar is closed, and the people of Moratinos only come out for church or for plowing. Few pilgrims straggle through, hunched under their ponchos.
But this year is different. This year, all the albergues in Moratinos closed, and all the pilgrims who usually fetch up at Bruno’s or the Hostal are fetching up here at Peaceable. Happily for us, our perennial hospitalero helper Ollie fetched up here too, in mid-December, and is hanging around long as the pilgrim traffic stays steady.
Christmas and New Year’s and Epiphany meant most of the other pilgrim shelters around here closed, too. Things got a little wild a couple of times, but finally the traffic is down to one or two pilgrims per night. It’s manageable. They’re paying their way. And they´re decent pilgrims, most of them.
With this website now up and operating, and our dear friend Kim floating on air as she sees the dream of several years begin to come true, spirits are a lot brighter than usual this January.
I am writing grant applications, for the archaeological dig and the hospitalero hut at San Anton de Castrojeriz. I am rounding-up budget numbers, recommendation letters, translating them, sending text messages in what is apparently incomprehensible Spanish. This week I drove over to the ruin and met the architect, collected the keys and snapped pictures and drew up some things that needed drawing. It’s all a little overwhelming.
I am praying that St. James sends me an accountant, or at least a bookkeeper.
I am just praying. I am praying a lot. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling well.
I feel better this January than I have for a very long time. I am almost afraid to admit this, for fear this break in the clouds is just a “sucker hole,” a moment of sunshine before the sky goes grey again. But my vision and thoughts and spirits are much clearer now than they were a month ago. Something’s broken loose.
Something good is happening. I believe in what I am doing.
Which is good.
If you want to be a volunteer hospitalero for two weeks at Albergue Villa de Grado in Asturias, get hold of me soon. We have six slots left to fill for the coming season, in March and May, September and October. (I do this staffing as part of FICS, the Fraternidad Internacional del Camino de Santiago. It’s not a Peaceable Project, per se.) You need to have some Spanish skills, and be healthy and flexible!
Likewise, if you want to volunteer at any of a long list of donativo albergues on trails all over Spain, don’t wait! Anai Bereda, the volunteer coordinator for the Spanish Federation of Amigos groups, is right this minute doling out assignments for 2018! Contact her at email@example.com.
I hope to post volunteer opportunities, building projects, upcoming events, etc. here as they develop. Watch this blog to keep up with Camino news … not all of which is cheerful.
This, for example. A mega strip mine is being proposed on the site of an old copper operation between Santa Irene and O Pino, right outside Santiago de Compostela, within a mile of the Camino de Santiago trail.
All the local towns are opposed… except O Pino. The mayor there has a long, Trump-like adoration for big business, and apparent disregard for silly things like ground water, air quality, noise and erosion. FICS is all over this, I will do my best to keep you up-to-date.