For many, if not all, of the pilgrims walking the Camino, there is much significance attached to visiting, worshipping and learning about the various churches, cathedrals, and religious landmarks along the route. So many writers wax poetic about the structures, the markers, history of these places, which is not my forte, but today, being Sunday, I focused my hike on visiting four of the closest churches to my home. Visiting and viewing the inside of these building is out, as houses of worship are closed for the duration, so I took photos of the exteriors and will note down what I saw.
In order of appearance, first came St Matthias Catholic Church, I have passed this church for years, even have attended services from time to time and the parking lot today, instead of being full of cars, had a few kids trying out scooters. On my wander across the grounds, I did find a small meditation garden, with benches and shade. We stopped for a Sunday prayer, and this surprise felt quite right and Pilgrimy! Next we came to a Latter Day Saints worship center,
these churches are marked for their simplicity, they don't have crosses, and on any other Sunday, this location teems with families streaming in and out of services. Today, there was me, August, and a sweet young family having a rest under a tree.
I am saving the most shocking news for right this minute, we walked our adventurous selves to San Carlos today! This next door town is well within the 5 mile safety radius, and we boldly crossed Edgewood Road ( at the light), and made our way to Trinity Presbyterian Church. Again, an empty parking lot, and signs on the doors that offices are closed.
Since we had already been so brave and fearless, we set our sights ( I was definitely feeling the Junipero Serra vibe today, he was a Catholic missionary who explored much of Western Mexico, some of which became California, and founded many missions on his treks) on Epiphany Church in San Carlos, and headed East.
I grew up attending an Episcopal Church in New Jersey, my parents attended with all 5 of us most Sundays, many of us sang in the choir, and went to Tuesday school as we got older. My church friends and I spent time roaming the buildings and grounds, climbing the rough exterior brick walls of the social hall, and reading Mr. Owens extensive collection of Snoopy comics. For many years, church was an integral part of my life, my family's life, and I learned many lessons there, which have helped shape my life.
A few years ago, I was struggling. I felt the yearning for some kind of spiritual connection, and after trying out several new denominations, I landed at Epiphany Church in San Carlos. Attending for a few years helped me immensely the warm, giving congregation and leaders at Epiphany couldn't have been more kind, compassionate but organized religion just was not quite right for me.
Returning today, on my Camino felt wonderful, and was the turnaround point for us to head home.