Village after village came and went on Thursday, scarcely exhilarating, with some history, probably in a state of economic predictability. Yet what connected these various villages were fields and crops, people and families.
As I trudged up the frustratingly vertical town of Cirauqui, I couldn't help but notice how friendly the locals were. Some were toiling on the farms, but the seniors watching over the little ones were glad to point out the local market or to wish you a Buen Camino.
When the day finally ended at Estella, with several beautiful churches and royal heritage, I found that the most intimately religious thing I could do was stay out with the people. I chatted with a shop keeper as I tried to decide which helado (ice cream) and lunch sausage wanted. Then I decided that sitting in the plaza mayor was to fun to go eat inside.
So I sat with a large mixed salad and a meat and fries dish - we are in Spain after all - and watched as kids, teens, parents and seniors interacted. I laughed as a tough muscle guy looked hopeless and hapless as his toddler boy had a meltdown and his wife was busy with a newborn; a passing senior looked down at the boy, blew a whistle, and said that he must not lie down in the street or he will attract the attention of police.
It was a small community that felt comfortable with itself and could exist timelessly. The rain fell softly on its fields, and they grew a friendly, family oriented society that shook hands when they met in the streets.
May the rain fall softly on your fields, in ways of gentle nourishment .
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