It isn’t raining today but the path is muddy with standing water in areas. As we leave Foncebadon we have about 5 kilometers until reaching the peak at which we find Cruz de Ferro or the Iron Cross.
A tall iron cross with a huge pile of stones at the base, standing atop Mount Irago pierces the sky. Both the Celts and then the Romans were in the habit of leaving piles of stones at the tops of mountains. The current tradition suggests that you leave a stone on the pile, to symbolize any number of things: the weight of your sins or some part of your past, an intention, a “token of love and blessing,” etc. ~ El Camino Forum
Attached to the base of the cross are items people have left either in memory of a person or this experience.
I examine the rocks toward the top of the pile and this one catches my eye ~ a naturally heart shape rock with the word MAMA on it. Every rock seems to have a story behind it. Our mom would have approved of this journey, too.
One tradition is that when you leave a rock on the mountain you are leaving your sins behind and the rock should reflect the size of your sins. To each their own. This thinking does not do anything for me (…and I don’t want to carry a rock that large and heavy!) so I make up my own vision and honor the journey. It is a time to reflect upon my life in the past and what my future endeavors may be. By the grace of God go any of us, and we just never know what challenges or gifts may lie just around the corner.
Rocks on a wall have words expressing the writers’ messages for the world. I gaze at this before leaving for our next destination. Our goal today is Molinaseca, and will involve a steep descent down the mountain which could prove to be treacherous.