Day 1: Up, up, up, over the Pyrenees Mountains to Navarre, the Abbey at Roncesvalles, where we bunked for our first night on the Camino de Santiago.
Day 2: The sun was hot and I was dead tired. Less than two miles from the day’s destination of Zubiri, I sat down to change my shoes.
Immediately, I was staring at the most beautiful coppery-colored wall, which I stared at for some time, until to the left, I was before Mary, the mother of Christ, who told me great and mighty things I knew not. I could not be before her there as I am here, so I was as she is, true royalty, which all His children are. She reminded me of my true royal nature, and I knew who I truly am. I was instantly filled with all knowledge and understanding. In fact, I knew everything.
The first thing Mary did with me was to take me aside, as if privately, and give me the answer to the issue I'd hoped to have resolved through my pilgrimage, and that had a serious tone, different from all the other time I spent there.
After that, we laughed and laughed with deep satisfying laughter and I was so very happy. And because I knew the truth about everything, I had complete trust in that truth, knowing everything will be fine. We're all safe. I've never felt such security, safety. I was so very happy and I stared and stared into Mary's face for as long as I wanted to and she didn't even care one bit, but loved and loved me the whole time. I was with Mary for days and days, weeks and weeks, months and months. And I knew I'd been there for a long time. Then I had the thought, "I can't wait to tell."
Immediately, I was with Wisdom, who was to Mary's left and I could not take my eyes off Wisdom. Wisdom is endless and contains time itself. I stared into Wisdom longer than I had Mary's face. For a long, long time I was mesmerized by Wisdom.
In an attempt to distract me, a veil was parted slightly to show me my family. Matthew 19:29 came to mind, and I knew it to be true. We were all so very happy together and we laughed from that place of knowing, deep satisfying laughter. And, oh, how we loved, perfect love, the way family ought always to love. We all laughed and were perfectly happy together, just as family was always meant to be.
But I wanted Wisdom most, so eventually I went back and leaned over the edge to stare down into Wisdom, and I was aware I'd been with Wisdom for a very long time. Wisdom is like a great invisible swirl with streaks of amber and it moves in a clockwise direction. I was full of joy and healing laughter. And then, I had the thought that "I can't wait to tell," and "This will save the world."
And immediately, the face of an angel was right in my face, so I figured this must be Stephen. Even though I knew it was a girl, I figured that maybe that didn't matter so much here. She was rubbing my feet and massaging my legs and speaking to me in soothing tones and everything she did was exactly what I needed. Over her shoulder I saw a tree and I looked around. It was as if I'd been dropped onto the pages of a story book and I blinked hard in an attempt to see as I had just a moment before. I lowered my head and caught sight of my hiking shirt, and I knew I was no longer where I had been. I was so startled by the sight of my skin, which all my greatness had been stuffed into, that I attempted to swipe it from my chest. Then I realized I'd forgotten everything Mary told me. And I began to cry.
In truth, I had the urge to throw a tantrum like a little child. I was so disappointed with myself. I'd let Mary down. I wouldn't save the world. I said, "I went somewhere."
I knew I had died. I also knew that, despite protests, I would finish the Camino.
Stephen was Brie from California, and she and her mother, Nahna, helped my daughter hydrate me, put my shoes on, and get me up. With my pack on her chest and hers on her back, Nahna led me down the mountain to a food truck from which applause erupted. The proprietor translated to Nahna that her friend looked "wrong," assuring her I would not make the final steep descent off the mountain to reach Zubiri. He volunteered to drive us to our albergue, where I slept and slept but was unable to eat for such sadness.
My sadness was great and I cried and cried for two days, begging the holy spirit to help guide me to the truth and to give me understanding of what had happened.
In the early morning hours of day five, the spirit dropped the words "a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day" into my spirit, and I jumped up and grabbed my phone. From my excitement, I was unable to do the math correctly, so the holy spirit told me to calm down, and helped me until I got it right. Once I saw how long one second in heaven is according to 2 Peter 3:8, all my joy returned and I knew that what I'd learned there eventually would return, too.
I finished the Camino in 34 days, going on to Finisterre, the end of the world.
Once we returned home, I emailed the albergue the food truck proprietor drove us to, to get his name and contact information, so I could thank him, and guess what? They call him “Jesus.”
At no time while I was with Mary and Wisdom did I know I was dead. The only connection I had to this earth was wanting to tell everyone, wanting to save the world. I was ashamed, upon return, when I realized I never once thought of Hannah, my youngest, who'd been standing right beside me. I have an image in my mind of being together with my family but I'm unable to remember the time I spent with them. I do not know if I was reunited with our Matt who left me a widow some seven years earlier. I do however have the memory of overwhelming joy and love while being with my family there.
I was glad I came back. Eternity lasts a long time and I understood this world is meant for play. We're meant to have a good time here, so make sure you do.
Mary was beautiful and I gained a true love and respect for her. Royalty has nothing to do with what she was wearing. True royalty makes you royal too; it reminds you of your true royal nature and all His children are true royalty. I am not Catholic so I had no knowledge of the Maria of the Camino pilgrims have sung to for over 800 years.
I had a strong desire to tell every priest and nun I saw, but translation was difficult. I did tell the nun at St. Stephen's, the 13th century church at Zabaldika, who responded perfectly when I expressed to her my concern that I wasn't even Catholic, with "It does not matter." Still, after touring every cathedral along the route, I suspect they'd want to know. Mary is big, big in the Catholic churches of Spain, and in the legend of the Camino she is said to have led pilgrims to the body of St. James. I am so very honored for all of it. It was worth it all and 2019 was the greatest year of my life.
I have a whole new respect for animals and no matter how tired from walking, I would not step on an ant nor snail. Upon returning home I fell in love with my dog, recognizing her loyalty and faithfulness. I understood quantum physics, energy, and vibration. I recognized the movement of truth which, in turn, led me to recognize the disturbance of everything apart from it. I knew the truth about everything and with that knowledge comes fearlessness, complete trust. There were relationships I could no longer partner with, and I find it difficult to listen to sermons without offering correction or expounding on them.
I have yet to take another hike. But I'm selling my farm and my possessions to enlarge my ministry. I plan to travel. A lot.
Buen Camino, peregrinos.