I decided to let the bag service take my backpack - only this time I kept my jacket unlike yesterday's forgetfulness. And I had the bag sent to Zubiri for a 23km day so that I saved a couple hours and could give my feet more time to heal.
I started walking at 8am from the monastery to Zubiri, running into a few people at the nearest market, and seeing nature at its most bucolic.
Maybe 9-9:30, a tall German fellow walks up beside me and says "I'm glad you're fine today." Yup it's the Christ-like person who gave me assurance and who guided me in that storm yesterday. Thore just finished his graduate degree in Dresden and will start working after his Camino. And though I see that past his chin, he no longer looks like Ted Neely of Jesus Christ Superstar, he still had a calm and caring personality, bringing food to refugees and tutoring special needs kids.
We had a lovely walk and picnic until we separated at Zubiri around 2pm. He was continuing to Larrosoaña, my original destination. We said we hoped to reconnect in Pamplona. During our walk, he would sometimes walk ahead of me but then wait. He says he's quiet yet he connected easily with everyone we met.
Later at dinner, I sat alone at a nearby cafe when Alix asked if she could done with me at my table. Earlier, we were having a conversation in the Albergue Zubliki and I didn't recognize her since I wasn't wearing my glasses and trying to awaken from my nap. We talked about her deep spirituality at St James Anglican in Peace River, Canada. She is definitely on Camino for its spiritual dimension. What was a quiet dinner alone turned into a great couple of hours.
So twice today I got into wonderful, meaningful conversations because people extended themselves to me. The crossed the bridges that separate us and join our journeys. And I pondered how sometimes we search for God, when God (or even someone whose chin seemed like a Jesus Christ actor) is in fact there, tapping on your shoulder, listening and sharing.
May we always be grateful for God's presence in our lives, and may we see, recognize, and be touched by those who embody that presence.
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