Though today was filled with farms, I had a final breakfast with Daniel when we coincidentally came in for the same hearty meal. We bid goodbyes and walked our own separate Caminos.
30 minutes later I helped an older French woman (who had taken a break) with putting on her backpack. I wondered who helped her every morning. An hour later I walked with Nicole from Haiti and now in Quebec, who also visited Lourdes, went to St Jean by train, and will visit Fatima after her Camino.
Then I walked for a spell with Justinia from Poland. She dreamed of the Camino for years but waited until her son was old enough to move away.
I paused in a village to update Teresa on Daniel. She's from South Africa and briefly walked with Linda, Daniel, and me. In fact, he gave his space to her when he decided to continue on last night. She is finishing her final leg of her Camino at the age of almost 70, having done St Jean to Logroño and Sarria to Santiago previously, as a gift from her now grown son.
Then Antonio from Portugal walked with me. I again ran into Michaele and Flavia walking into Belorado. And as I was finding my albergue, Diane and Claude appeared and we joked about who was stalking whom. I checked in and found myself in a room shared with 5 others, two of whom are young adult brothers traveling with their father and sister.
The rains came while I rested in a delightful albergue Cuatro Cantones in Belorado. Before the rains, I was able to visit the church built into the side of a cliff.
Assigned to a wonderful table for the pilgrim's dinner. Iri and Luke in the front of the photo walked from their from door in Belgium, are from the Netherlands speaking part, and began their walk after their eldest graduated. Uli in the back is a musician/farmer from Bavaria and is in my dorm room (only woman, 5 guys). We had great talks about Camino, kids, and politics.
Today's pictures were mostly fields but I was enchanted by the nests of the storks on the church built into the cliff walls. For some reason, today's journey had a recurrent theme. The storks took over the top of this church as they were nesting. I wondered how many eggs or chicks were up there as they labored to provide for life.
And at some point, they then migrate to a place of nourishment, fulfilling flight patterns burned into their very being, doing what they were meant to do, on faraway journeys, leaving the nests behind.
And tonight I thought of all these pilgrims who waited until their kids were old enough before they too began their journeys, seeking nourishment, on faraway journeys, leaving their nests behind.
May you one day spread your wings... And soar!
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