Camino: Baby Steps…Over and Over Again

Well, hello there fellow pilgrims! How goes your mid-February leg of the journey? Have the blues hit hard, and the dark winter hours make you yearn for spring? Have you bristled while in the company of your other pilgrims? I hope that my journey on this particular day encourages you to show up to your daily duty!

Well, let’s on to the four highlights!

  1. The physical progress of the Immaculata: Spider webs anyone?
  2. From the Mass: Taking Steps into the Holy of Holies
  3. Pictures from the travel journal
  4. From the Camino: Baby Steps up Mt. Mitchell (yes, a “Mt” exists in Kansas!)

Continue reading to see more!

Physical Progress of the Immaculata:

The Masonry still continues to crawl all up and around the northern bell tower, and partially up the southern tower too. While weather has prevented consistent work outside, inside, a network of silvery scaffolding covers the entire interior of the buiding. It looks as if an intricate and thickly woven web has laced itself throughout the church. (Oh great, now here come thoughts about the spiders…!)

Pictures from the travel journal.

Y’all I wish you could hold this book in your hand! It’s cloth bound, and has delicious, toothy 100% cotton pages that feel so luxurious as you turn them!

These pictures were completed in little steps, just like a real travel journal. I sketch them on scene, and when possible, paint them there too. I always learn a lot painting-wise after each spread. This time, the lesson learned was to do my lettering in ink BEFORE I paint!

Let’s see if I remember to do that on the next entry!

From the Mass: Taking Steps into the Holy of Holies

After the Confiteor and before the Introit, the Priest goes up to the Altar. As he mounts the steps, approaching the tabernacle, one is reminded of the high priest in the Old Testament going into the Holy of Holies.

Just as the priest since Mose’s time and throughout the Old Testament
Solemnly mounted the steps
Into the Holy of Holies
To go before the Ark of the Covenant
Now the priest, similarly vested:
His responses hush to a low voice
Carefully, solemnly, he walks up the steps,
To begin the greatest feat a man can do:
To take on the work of redemption and save mankind.

From the Camino:

On Day 20, a Saturday, it was a huge struggle to go to Mass. I woke up later than I wanted to. And I thought…”Hmmm, I could just not go….”

You know…Saturdays: that’s the day for sleeping in, pj’s, monring sunshine, coffee, and then gradually carpé-ing the old diem.

But my resolution kept after me and so I decided to hurrying up and get to Mass.

Never mind the fact that I was over 15 minutes late for Mass.

Never mind the fact that it had been a trend to be so late ALL that week. (Being late for me is truly ‘mor- ih-fwying” and to me it’s much easier to talk myself out of going to Mass if I’m going to be late.) But I figured if this is truly a pilgrimage it’s the steps that count.

The steps add up right?

Even if they are the littlest, teeny baby steps, sooner or later you’ll achieve some mileage.

If you at least start, and keep at it, you eventually will arrive. I thought it was useless, that I would be late again, so what was the point (thanks Internal Critic!). God was the point, and he is a loving, merciful God and wants you to come to him always (thanks Holy Spirit!).

After Mass, to celebrate working with the good ol’ Holy Spirit, I decided to grab a coffee in Wamego and visit Mt. Mitchell. While not very elevated (is anything in KS?!), it’s remote, yet close, and always calm and quiet, and basking in the glow of the sun. 

With coffee in hand, and the warm sun on the crisp morn, I found inspiration in the winding paths of the small prairie mound, it’s gravel paths winding up to the historical summit (no oxygen tanks needed here!).

Along one of the trails there’s a large pink granite rock, the sort left behind by ancient glaciers that once crept over this land, that has SUMMIT printed on the rock, and an arrow guiding you up the trail. Elevation jokes aside, it struck me that to reach any summit, one has to take steps.

They have to be one’s own steps, and in the words of Antoine St. Èxupery, “It’s always the same step, but you have to take it.”  For me, it always feels like these are little baby steps.

This is what it’s felt like to walk on the Camino de Immaculata lately. Steps. Boring steps. Uncomfortable steps. Unknown steps. Blind trust steps. Dying to self steps. Mundane steps. Steps to the summit, steps to the mountain of God.

Just having the grace to go to Mass that day brought me the grace of this realiziation. I was most greateful. And then I discovered something that felt like a kiss from God.

All along the gravel paths I discovered shells as I walked and sipped my coffee. It wasn’t until I sat down with my sketchbook to sketch the “Summit” rock that it dawned on me! How cool! They were mussel shells, and even found a fossil of an ancient type of shell!

And then I chanced upon a big connection to the Camino de Santiago -but I’ll save that for the next post!

What are your baby-steps right now?

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

Want some more encouargement in your steps?

Sometimes reading about people who have had it harder help us tread a little more resolutely. The Long Walk is a true story that is a pilgrimage of survival:

Are you wondering what could be the next step for you? This book, so providentially placed in my hands by a good friend has helped me push forward step-by-step.

When you click the picture-link above, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Click and you’re the best!


3 thoughts on “Camino: Baby Steps…Over and Over Again

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