On this day last year in Viana Spain, I took what I thought to be my last breath.
Still not easy to speak of, but my heart wants to share a most precious Camino miracle.
Three days before, I awoke to bug bites. Inconclusive as to what kind. I believe spider.
Many large oozing, extremely itchy welts covered my body. My limbs and neck swollen to triple in size.
I managed to get creams at a pharmacy and an injection from a doctor. Both pharmacist and physician did not speak English, nor I Spanish. So I do not know what was administered.
On this day, two days after treatment, the itch was unbearable and I became extremely cold. I put on all the clothes I had in my backpack and walked into the village to find warmth. Remembering a church ruins from first arriving, I laid down on a crumbling altar. The warm enfolding of Spain’s sun streamed through the sacred roofless structure.
Within moments I began to loose consciousness. I knew I was dying.
First panic and fear. Realizing there was not time for that, a gentle deep peace washed over and through me. I prepared. Waited. Drifting in and out. Between here and there.
I’m not quite sure how long it was before hearing a voice tell me to get food. Feeling too weak I ignored the first call. It came again stronger.
Something gave me the strength to obey.
Just around the corner I could read a sign Vegetariano and Quinoa. The day before thoughts that it would be wise to start eating clean again. Here in the US I must avoid eating gluten but heard it may be possible in Europe. My stomach was not in pain but I was most likely inflamed. Not good with the infected bites.
After the first taste of quinoa a man came up to look at the menu that was near me.
Not speaking in days, I said “The quinoa is very good”
As I spoke, I remember thinking how odd it was that I was talking to this man.
He asked if I was alright?
Surprised he spoke English, I paused. He asked again. I showed him my hands and legs and said I thought I was dying.
He told me he was a medic in Ireland. Then immediately gave me antibiotics and steroids that he had brought on his journey with him.
I am sad that I was too ill to get name of the man who saved my life. But I think in the not knowing, no future contact. Just the miracle memory. There is Grace.
Much has happen between these two October fifths.
It is early morning as I write this from a tiny little Goddess temple in a closet at Ananda Ashram in NY
Giving thanks with deep deep gratitude for all that is and all that was.
On my way to find sun. One of the most treasured sights I will ever see, feel.
A man whistling Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Holding and swinging his father’s hand.