Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Saturday, July 8, 2023

Face to face - July 8, 2023

We took our latest and last planned rest day of this Camino in León. That means that we lose contact with all those people whom we met regularly since Burgos that chose not to take a rest day. They’re a village ahead of us now. Instead of their familiar faces, their beloved stories, we will meet some new faces, of people we will likely see for the rest of our Camino.

In addition to the shift that happens when you take a rest day, León is a popular start and stop spot for pilgrims. It’s about 300km from Santiago de Compostela which is about 2 weeks for most. It’s 3 weeks from St Jean Pied-de-Port and 1 week from Burgos. So if you want a one, two, or three week Camino, you can start or stop in León.

That convenience means people come and go. We saw so many new faces today, including three new ones from our own group. We wondered about faces that disappeared. Did they go home or did they continue onward without a rest day? If they went on, is there a chance we could see them again?

It’s often unstated but some of the most meaningful time on Camino is when we have personal conversations with each other. That face to face time, brief as it might be, gives us glimpses of each other is remarkable, transparent ways. But I do think that the transient nature of these conversations is an important part of the Camino. People can and go in our lives. The Camino helps show this to us, face to face.

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