May 23, 2015
There were a few thoughts that occurred to me as I walked from Belorado to San Juan de Ortega today. But first I need to add some more to yesterday’s experience of the people you meet on the Camino. Last evening I had more great conversations with some men from Austria and the Netherlands and even a delightful young person from the US, and today I got to spend a few miles with three men from Ireland, the oldest was 74, the couple from South Korea, and the most delightful 76 year old from Japan who thanked everyone from all nations for the help Japan received after the earth quake a few years ago. In the movie “The Way” Martin Sheen has some good conversations with just a few people. The real Camino is much richer! With just a question or two and a pause to listen, there are dozens of stories to be heard every day and every evening as the pilgrims gather for end-of-day story telling.
After the last week of fields of grain, I guess I was expecting more of the same. It’s OK to have expectations but it sure is nice to be surprised too. The path today was up hill for the first eight or nine miles as I passed through 4 small towns. The landscape quickly turned from the open fields to woods of oak and pine trees. This turned out to be a very beautiful switch from the past days and my expectations.
I also appreciated all the signs guiding me. Some were so obvious and others much harder to see. I guess that this is like most directions in life. Sometime you really need to look closely to see the path and not get lost. Sometimes people who don’t know you will yell to tell you that the Way is “back there” or “over this way”. Well I guess I was attentive enough and followed the signs because I found San Juan, a town of 20 people, and now about 50 pilgrims, and the church. In case you are wondering, my candle is the newest/tallest one on the right.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support. I gave thanks for all of you when I lit that candle.