• Ryan Newman

The Mystique of the Meseta

Day 13 (Tardajos to Castrojeriz)

Distance: 18.5 miles (10.6KM)

Steps: 39,500

Time: 5 hours, 28 minutes

Total Distance To-Date: 203.64 Miles (327.7KM)

“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” —Haruki Murakami (Japanese Writer)

Today, was a milestone day of sorts. First, I crossed the 200 mile mark. Have I really walked over 200 miles in 13 days?! I guess so. Also, today I entered into the “Meseta” region of Spain. The Meseta is the great interior plateau of Spain. On the Camino, the Meseta is famous for its endless flat land, heat, and lack of shade. Good thing I’m walking in Spring.

The Meseta, from “mesa,” a table, meaning 'table mountain'. It is the central plateau of Spain, or high plains of Castile. People often say it is the Spanish heartland—to know Spain, you have to know the Mesata.

Camino veterans have said to me, “On the first third of the Camino, it is about the physical challenge. The second section, the Meseta, is the emotional challenge—the stark land causes the demons to stir in you. The third and final part, Galicia, is the spiritual journey.”

Upon entering the Meseta, I was struck by the question today scrolled on one of the Camino markers. It read:

“Are you ready to listen and observe?”

The Meseta doesn’t challenge you physically, it challenges you mentally and emotionally. The lack of shade and water can wear down the strongest of pilgrims. The open, vast, flatlands attempt to taunt your worldly perspective.

In order for a pilgrim to grow and learn, they must listen and observe. What is the Camino going to reveal to me? For the last 13 days, I have been tested physically more than anything. Moving forward, I imagine the Camino will test my mind, my heart, and my soul. Days on the Meseta will be days of discernment.

This pilgrim welcomes the opportunity to discern, especially God’s will for me and my family. Where is God calling me/us? How can I best serve others moving forward? How do I more fully embrace God’s love and vision for the world?

The wilderness of the Camino awaits me. The power of the Meseta stirs in this pilgrim’s soul.

Lesson of the Day: A vulnerable pilgrim is a pilgrim willing to be transformed by God’s love and vision.


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