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WYD08: A Pilgrimage with Scones and Tea

Mary Rose Bacani Valenti

Saturday, July 19, 2008

If I can’t go on the Media Climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge, what am I going to do for 2 hours?
This was my dilemma Saturday morning as Pedro, Wally, Richard and Fr. Stefano did the Media Climb. Only four from our team were allowed, and I was the fifth! While they were gone for two hours, I was on my little adventure.
Underneath the bridge this morning was an outdoor market. I don’t know if this is open every Saturday morning, or even everyday, but it was quite lovely! There were stands for glass jewellery of all sorts of colours, Australian boomerangs, nougats, kangaroo pencil cases, corn on the cob, etc… It was really colourful and alive.
I heard one woman say, “Oh, I’m off to get those amazing scones. My favourite Irish place!”
It turns out she was talking about an Irish café across from the outdoor market. I decided to use my time sitting down eating scones and drinking Vanilla black tea --- all by myself.
I watched pilgrims with their bright pilgrim bags go through the market. I listened as three male pilgrims talked about the girls they met at World Youth Day. I had a young couple with their baby ask me how good the scones were before they sat down at the table close by. And best of all, I just relished the opportunity to smell my sweet tea and to feel the softness of my freshly-baked scones. The sun warmed my face and my eyes just enjoyed the busy market, the people walking by, the dog relaxing by a stand, the weekend chatter calmly floating about.
And I realized that this is part of pilgrimage – taking the time to be quiet, to just be and experience life around me. It was like a moment of prayer, of gratitude, of oneness with the God who loves life.
Also, it was a moment for my palatte to appreciate my snack.
Kudos to Irish scones!

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