Well, it was quite a day. Here is a quick glimpse into the procession. It was exhausting... physically and mentally or possibly emotionally. I am still trying to process the experience.
Near the end I spoke with a woman who was from France and she spoke of how well the Squink was doing, and that this was more common back there... Schatz and I said it was part of our experience too, and how wonderful to have it here. She grabbed my arm and said, yes, it is finally here, and walked away.
Again, I am not catholic, nor do I feel any close affinity to most other religions. What I do have is a deep appreciation for ritual, and yes I do like the ones that are a bit more "over the top" like processions such as this. It brings back memories of gentle times, when I admired others faith. It fosters a sense of community.
It is interesting to note that most cars we very respectful, and stopping and waiting as the very long procession passed, the only exception being a adolescent male in a "souped up car" with the bass blaring a thunderous beat as he speed by, clearly thinking he was impressing the girl in the passenger seat next to him.
I was also lucky in that I had a friend join us for the experience. It was nice to have someone there, to make silly jokes, catch up and chat as we both fumbled our way through the liturgy the procession called for.
The most miraculous part; Squink walked the whole thing (about 1 mile). He even got down (mostly) on his knees when called for... which impressed Schatz.