It's been a very long day. But.... beautiful and amazing.
Lourdes is a gorgeous little town surrounded by the gently mountainous Pyrenees - it has all kinds of charm and story-bookishness to recommend it. This time of year finds it not completely besieged by tourists, and it definitely has a rather sleepy relaxed vibe to it.
Our train got in just before noon, and we spent the next...two hours trying to find our hotel. Technically this should have taken about half an hour. Max. When we did find it, we collapsed in relief, and barely stopped short of kissing the ground. Both of us were puttering to a complete halt after having gotten only about 4 or 5 hours of sleep.
We had even decided in our desperation prior to finding the hotel, that if we took one more wrong turning we were just going to give up and embark on a path of self destruction that would possibly end in our deaths.
"How should we go about it?"
"....I think we should start by ingesting our own weight in chocolate."
"Followed by a 60 of vodka. Each."
At which point we turned a corner and saw our hotel. Fortunately.
I collapsed on my bed, put my ear plugs in and conked out for an hour, while Meaghen showered and tried to rid herself of the terrible stench she kept insisting her feet were carrying.
By the time we got our act together, it was late afternoon, and more than anything we wanted to see the Grotto.
So we did. (Not my own picture. Because guess who forgot her camera? And her cellphone? And extra underwear? And toothpaste?) <---- But none of this matters because....
What peace. What an overwhelming sense of heaven touching earth.
From the moment I touched the side of the Grotto and for the next, oh, fifteen minutes....all I could do was cry. And cry. And maybe also cry.
Not gentle ladylike tears either.
No no no. This was something more along the lines of one's soul being torn in two and emptied of woundedness.
Tomorrow sees us heading for a triple whammy of holiness in various forms.
I don't know if I will be able to handle it. My soul might expand to a bursting point of monstrous proportions.
I just got a mental image of that: pink and gold sparkles. PINK AND GOLD SPARKLES is what my soul would spit forth.
.....my soul in a completely happy state is an Elton John concert?
I think I need to sleep.