Today was a tough day. It was warm, not much wind, with little shade on the Camino. Larry and I left Carl early this morning. Carl is hanging back (in Carrión) for a few days to rest, and let his blisters heal. He plans to rejoin us in León. Have not heard from Bill today; hopefully he is continuing to make progress with his ankles and blisters.
Today’s plan was to walk to Terradillos de los Templarios, about 27 km. It was a long walk, mostly featureless, but not too many places to stop and rest, or get provisions. By the time I got to Terradillos it was 2:00 pm, and both of the albergues in town were already “completo”, or full. So, I called Hostal Moratinos, in the next village, and reserved a room for “dos personas”. It was another 3 km to Moratinos, but this hostal is an oasis on the Camino. I was worn out when I got here, but got a nice shower, ordered a bottle of wine, and have been on this deck for the last couple of hours journaling, drinking wine, celebrating the halfway point of the Camino, and waiting on Larry.
May 31, 2015 Moratinos, Spain
Are rainbows miracles? I think most people say that they believe in miracles, but usually associate them with some kind of phenomenon that is unexplained by science. I’ll not deny that the hand of God intervenes sometimes in miraculous and unexplainable ways, resulting in events that can truly be called miracles. But what about rainbows? Are they also miracles, that we have just trained ourselves to not recognize as such? According to Wikipedia, rainbows occur when a beam of light intersects with water droplets, thus causing the light beam to be refracted and dispersed into a spectrum of colors. So science has a perfectly reasonable explanation of how rainbows are formed, but still I have this nagging thought that rainbows really are miracles.
My journal entry from May 31, 2015, reflects a particularly difficult day I had on the Camino; I had to walk an additional 3 km to find accommodations in Moratinos for the night, which was not in my plan for that day. I was not a happy peregrino at that point. What my journal doesn’t say is that at the end of the day, a brief rain storm came up, after which the sun re-emerged from the clouds, and an incredible rainbow spanned the eastern sky in glorious beauty. Also, when I had entered Moratinos, I noted a shallow hill at the outskirts of the village, with a single, empty, chair on top. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but later on, towards sunset, an elderly gentleman with a cane came walking from the village, climbed that hill and sat down in that lone chair to enjoy the view of the setting sun across the wide open Spanish landscape.
Were these mere coincidences, or were they small miracles? I choose to believe that they are more than just coincidences. You hear peregrinos all the time speak of miracles they experience while in the Camino de Santiago. Indeed, I’m reminded of that wonderful scene in the movie, “The Way”, where the priest battling brain cancer talks about it: “They say that miracles happen on the Camino!” And so they do – the spirit of Saint James at work, if you believe in such things. I do.
For me the real miracle of rainbows is that God provides us with the beauty of light, and that light is made up of a spectrum of colors. Thus rainbows are a manifestation of God’s glory, and his infinite love for us, in that he created a world full of beauty, a world in which we can experience rainbows and many other miracles of nature, if only we will open our minds to them. So the next time you see a rainbow, offer a prayer of thanks to God for the beauty of his creation, and for the many small miracles that are all around us each and everyday.