This week Dawn and I and 19 others will be traveling the Camino de Santiago, the Way of Saint James, the ancient Christian pilgrimage across Northern Spain. We plan to walk for about 70 miles, spread out over 7 days, finishing at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where legend holds the bones of St. James the Apostle are buried. Bones or no, we hope to experience the spiritual formation and growth that comes with a week of walking and contemplating things of the Spirit, as well as enjoying fabulous Spanish food with friends!
The poem, Ozymandias, always makes me pause and think. I’ve been considering its message during this political season. All around us we hear self-congratulating calls of greatness. Not much humility. But, humility will come with time, as all find to be true. Here’s the poem, written by Percy Shelley and published in 1818:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Today we honor all hard working people, like this delivery driver navigating a twisty, narrow street in Beijing.
Thank you for all your work to make our families, our communities and our world a better place to live!