… ” I would go to the ends of the earth in search of souls …”
… going forth … in search …
And the stagecoach bounces nimbly.
Harsh the journey: cold, snow, stony ice … too few hours of light …
They have prepared the trip with womanly foresight.
Warm clothes: for the Tormes is not the Pisuerga. For there are cold spells in Salamanca, that leave the river like an ice rink.
And something to eat and drink for the trip: for Zamora can not be reached in an hour.
Their theological certainty and youthful enthusiasm push and lead.
We already know the travelers: Fr. Miguel, Juana Josefa, Cipriana, Petra and Gertrudis.
Leaving behind the city, they contemplate the Castilian plain: grooves swayed by the plow, awaiting to cradle the sowing of new life.
Earth docile, open to water and sun.
And Father Miguel is led to think of the parable of the Sower … that the harvest is great … He is apprehensive and encouraged at the same time.
And Juana Josefa speaks of Salamanca to her companions. She has already been there with Father Miguel, recently, in October; housed in the home of Doña Jacoba de Carlos. It reassures them. They have already rented a house and from Valladolid they have sent some supplies … In addition the bishop is cognizant of everything. He has written a letter.
The sun, already very low, begins to turn reddish.
And as they reach the Zamora region, Petra begins to get into the conversation.
After all, she is a teacher. And she begins to speak: the smallest and oldest cathedral of the Castilians; Romanesque style, dedicated to San Salvador … Taking pride in her knowledge, she also tells them about Bellido Dolfos. She relates it so vividly that her companions are outraged with the traitor.
It is getting dark. After so many hours, the conversation languishes; they doze off.
Perhaps they murmur a rosary, before they wake up.
They already see the very dim gas lights of the city. Finally, the inn.
Worn-out, they have a frugal dinner … and rest and sleep. For paths are made by walking.
And in this case one has to get up early because from Zamora to Salamanca it will take another seven hours. And … a lot more to struggle for the Kingdom.
Teresa Zugazabeitia F.I.