It snowed this morning as I began my walk across the Meseta. Tiny icy flakes blown in from a far off shelf of clouds; the sky above me was blue. A cold wind blew all day. I walked bundled up in my coat and gloves, hood pulled tight around my face.
The Meseta is the high cental plateau of Spain; the Camino Frances crosses this tableland from Burgos to Astorga. The horizon spreads across your entire field of vision, broken only by piles of rocks pulled from the seemingly endless fields and a scattering of wind turbines. Tiny villages are tucked into the few shallow isolated valleys, hidden from view until you are on right on top of them.
Walking under this wide open sky, I felt small and exposed. Yet, it occured to me that with vulnerability comes an openness that we do not often allow ourselves to feel. Walking the Camino necessitates a willingness to expose oneself physically and emotionally to new challenges every day, to be vulnerable. This is often an uncomfortable experience, but one that can have great rewards.
Tonight I will sleep in lovely little Hontanas, in an albergue owned by former pilgrims, with church bells for my alarm clock in the morning.
Today I walked 13 miles.