A while back I wrote about the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella and how I've been wanting to make the pilgrimage for a long, long time. Well, since we have neither the time or the money to do so for a couple of years, and since I had absolutely no stamina after being sick for about 3 months last fall and winter, not to mention my three eye surgeries, we thought we could at least begin to prepare so we would be ready when the time came. So, a couple of months ago we started walking. It's sort of embarrassing to admit this, but at that time I could only walk ten minutes at a time, five minutes out and five minutes back, and it completely wore me out. When I started working in 2005, I used to walk 3 miles every day, so this was really discouraging.
Still, we had fun. We tried to walk in lots of different places between work and home. That's a 40 mile trip, so there are lots of places to walk. We walked in the zoo, by the Mississippi, from the seminary where I work to the college where Bill works, around the Mississippi welcome center on I-55, around the square in Hernando, MS, and up and down our very hilly street. Today we walked 43 minutes, so that's a great improvement.
Grumpy wrote me once about the pilgrimage that it doesn't start in one definite place. Different people start in different places, some start at their front door. So, I got to thinking that while I couldn't go to Spain yet, I could start a pilgrimage here, and walk from home to my parish church. That's about 15 miles. There's no way I could walk that at one time, so we are walking it a bit at a time. We can't walk on days when we work, because it's twilight by the time that we get home, so we can only walk weekends and hopefully we'll get in a few days this week when I'm off work if Bill can come home early.
So far, we have walked three times and covered 4.4 miles. Bill drops me off at place we stopped the day before and I start walking.. He drives the car down the road a mile or so, and then walks back to meet me about halfway, and then we walk to the car together. When we reach the car, we walk about half as far as I think I can walk, then he walks back to get the car while I keep walking. It's nice this way because we have each other's company for half the walk, and I can pray the rosary on the other half, and I don't worry about being so far from home by myself. The thing I worry most about is dogs. So far, though, we've only met up with friendly ones. This one walked with us yesterday.
I really liked this dog. She looks like a mix between a german shepherd and a lab. I almost wish I could take her home with me.
One thing I wanted to do was pray at the cemeteries we pass. There's a whole lot of dead folks out here and since they are probably 99.9999999% protestant, they've been lying around for a long time with nobody to pray for them. I always pray when I pass them in the car, but this is kind of special. This is the closest one to my house. It's across the street from the church which was our stopping point on the first day.
Last Saturday, our first day, and this Saturday, we walked past a bunch of small farms.
Some of them still busy, others barely there.
Sunday, we walked through some bottomland that's the favorite place for hunting in our area. There are a lot of tributaries of the Cold water river running through it. Here's one.
And here's another.
This is the time of year when they are carting away bales of cotton, and the roadsides look like this.
Sometimes there's quite a lot. Once when the river had flooded around this time of year, when the water went down all the tree branches were ringed with bits of cotton like girls with wreaths of white flowers in their hair. When we were homeschooling, I always thought a good homeschool mother would take her kids out to gather a bunch of that cotton and take it home and card and spin it, but I was a low-energy homeschool mother and I worried about all the pesticides and defoliant that had been sprayed on it, too.
Well, that's all for now. I'll probably write some more as we progress. Pray for us to stick with it. Every day it's a struggle to get started. I'd hate to lose all the ground we've gained so far.