I’ve been making the pilgrimage to the Santuario de Chimayo since I was 12. Although I’ve missed a couple of years, here and there due to sickness, for the most part, I’ve “made it” every year. This year was no different…
When I first started making the pilgrimage, I would walk with an intention, that is, I’d pray for something, whether it’s a person or a test score or, well, something. However, ever since my dad was diagnosed with cancer and he stopped walking with me, I’ve been praying in thanksgiving for having the opportunity to experience the same pilgrimage that my ancestors made. I’ve become far more thankful, in general, because I’ve been directly faced with the fleeting nature of health and of life and that I can still walk to Santuario is a blessing that I don’t take for granted.
What I have found as I changed my prayer type on the walk is that when I would walk with an intention, it was like I was making an offering such that prayer intention would be heard. I’d be sore and bruised and simply a wreck for a couple of days. Ever since I’ve been praying in gratitude, I still get tired, but I’m not nearly as sore and I don’t bruise, at all.
Maybe that’s the lesson I take from this year’s walk: Maybe I should try to live in gratitude every day. Maybe if I do, I’ll be able to see the bad times as learning experiences for which I should also be thankful. Maybe I wouldn’t have as much fear or worry because it all happens so fast that there’s really nothing about which I should worry, anyway. Maybe walking to Santuario is a metaphor for how I should approach each and every day and experience. In faith, I think it is….