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Wordless meaningful encounters on the camino

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#1
Prompted by @Kanga's reaction in the "Celebs" on the Camino-thread, I thought back on some of the more notable human connections I made on the camino, but without the use of words. Kanga wrote "... the best moments I thought were when we're enjoying each other's company in an uncomplicated, unselfconscious, way", and my brain then added 'wordless' for some reason. My brain does that sometimes, nudge me like that. Maybe to make a point, or to ensure that I pay attention. Helpful, most of the time, and this time the occasion for this post.

So the 'wordless' cue took me back to two specific events. The first was in Les Landes, south of Bordeaux on the Vézelay Route. A feared region in the Middle Ages, because it was then a vast and soggy plain, and dangerous to boot because of thieves and robbers who preyed on pilgrims. Today Les Landes is very different: home to Europe's largest maritime-pine forest, green and succulent when I walked there in the spring. But the bleakness and the feeling of remoteness can still echo.

That was at least certainly the case on the sunday morning I walked there. I hadn't seen a single soul in hours, and when I traversed an overpass over the motorway I witnessed an awesome sight. Not a car to be seen or heard. It was dead quiet, almost to the point where it became eerie. I was alone on planet Earth.

And then I saw him, in the distance. A pilgrim on a bicycle, a shell dangling from his panniers, a bandana tied around his head, cycling towards me parallel to the highway. I stood and watched from above, not really thinking, mildly curious. Somehow he became aware of my presence, looked up while pedalling and his face broke open in a beautiful smile. He raised his hand, I raised mine and smiled back and I understood that this was a perfect moment: no words, but a world of meaning. He kept on pedalling wordlessly and I wasn't alone anymore.

The second event was a really heavy one. As I was approaching the Cruz de Ferro almost a month later, I was prepared to place a little pebble I had brought. Mostly out of a sense of form, I confess, because that is what you do at the Cruz de Ferro. But what I wasn't prepared for was the man I would encounter. The weird thing was that I knew something was about to happen when I saw him. A big guy, head shaven and strong looking. He and his wife or girlfriend stood out of the crowd gathered at the Cruz. Something was going on with those two, especially him, and they seemed more 'real' than the rest of the people there.

I had to walk past them to reach the cross and I did that slowly and gingerly. I still don't understand why my body already felt tense and in fight or flight-mode. I was hyper-aware, but it still came as a monumental shock: when I passed the man I got hit by his grief. There is no way I can explain it better. His grief, his heartbreak, was so immense and palpable that it literally slammed the breath out of me. I staggered along, around the mound of rocks and pebbles, and stood shaking by the fence on the other side, holding on to it for dear life. Otherwise I would have collapsed.

Writing this is strange. I remember it vividly, and to see it in writing the whole thing seems overly dramatic. But at the time I was dumbstruck, with tears running down my face, labored breathing, shaking all over and not a clue why this was happening to me. It wasn't my grief, but on another level it was very much my grief. Maybe I recognised something about him, the hard look on his face resembling mine when I hold my own emotions under tight control. It struck a chord, that much was sure.

I watched him place a stone at the foot of the cross while his wife/girlfriend stood back, wrapped up in her own pain. When he came down to her they hugged, and by that time I had recuperated just enough to do my own thing and get the hell out of there. But the placing of my stone had suddenly taken a whole new meaning, it wasn't about a sense of form anymore. When I rumbled down he stood at the bottom of the pile, like he was waiting for me. I looked him in the eye and he returned the gaze for what seemed like a long time. Both our faces still wet we nodded at each other, fully aware of something real but unspoken between us. And then, just like that, we went our separate ways. I almost ran to Acebo after all this but felt really good when I arrived in Ponferrada that afternoon. Like something wasn't weighing me down anymore.

With accounts like these there is always the danger of projection on the part of the narrator, especially when you try to capture the essence of the encounter into words from your own point of view. The other guy probably tells a different story. But somehow I feel that isn't the case with these two events. They both had a quality of deep connection about them, something which is very hard to describe because it is profoundly non-verbal. But they both were so fundamental to my camino that I decided they deserved a post of their own. Maybe you would like to add yours.
 
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mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona - Santiago 2014, St. Jean to Estella June 2016, Estella to Santiago April 17, 2018
#2
Ferrarios. I will always remember the albergue at Ferrarios for a very wordless but beautiful experience.

My sister and I had finished walking for the day, a very warm June day in 2014, and I was writing in my journal in the sitting room that overlooks the camino, it has two doors and I'm trying to keep the doors open so the breeze comes through but it is the same breeze that wants to keep the doors shut! The breeze wins and one door is open, the other shut.

I have a great view of the camino and the peregrinos walking by from where I sit when I see one young lady, on her own, walking by and who when she spots me in the window she waves at me and I wave back and then she blows me a kiss. She doesn't stop but keeps on going, pass our albergue, so I never get to meet or speak to her but I’ll never forget that kiss, it so truly signifies the spirit of the camino for me.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#3
Two such moments I can recall.

1.
Camino Frances in 2011, between Burgos and Tardajos. When leaving Burgos I kind of couldn't get myself started and I sat for few hours on a bench in a paseo just before the bridge over the Arlanzon (across the bridge there's statue of Sto. Domingo) and watched strong wind moving willow branches across the river. Finally and in until then unknown inner pain I moved on. Two years of emotional hardship with numerous betrayals were behind me at that time and somewhere on the way to Tardajos everything just erupted. I was walking and crying and howling and... just trying to walk it all off. When suddenly I felt someone is near me. I turned my head to the right and there was this Buddhist monk walking beside me and smiling. Like he was saying: everything will be OK, dude! That lasted for maybe a second or two and he passed me. Immediately I was completely, ahem how should I put this..., clean of bad memories, worries, sorrow, grief... So much that I even managed to take a photo of him walking away :)
BTW something very beautiful happened to me two days later in Boadilla del Camino which lasted till the end at Cabo Finisterre...

2.
Again Camino Frances as a connection between Madrid and Invierno in 2014. On the way from Leon and just before Chozas de Abajo (Villar de Mazarife route) a tall Scandinavian looking peregrina approximately of same age was walking in reverse direction. As we made eye contact I kind of raised eyebrows as I wanted to ask something and she nod with a smile. After two meters, a second later we were in "personal space" distance and completely instinctively and at the very same moment we hugged each other. For maybe three seconds. Then a smile and off we walked in separate directions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2014), CF (2015), CP (2016)
#4
I know this is a tad off topic as to a "wordless transaction", but it is a different take as to how you can "create a relationship and share the experience" even if you don't share a language.

We spent our first Camino off and on with a lovely young lady from Italy who spoke no English, and our Italian was more or less non-existent. We first saw her in Los Arcos, and she was shuffling along in serious pain, obviously not want to put weight on either foot. We next saw her at the albuergue in Viana. Another pilgrim was tending the oozing, obviously painful, vestiges we normally call feet. We culled through our medical kit and offered her anything we could. She smile beautifically and said Grazie Mille, obviously realizing we were offering help. We saw her on and off until the town after Granon, and we always asked "esta bien?", pointing to her feet. She always smiled in response, gave us a thumbs up, and said si.

We lost contact with her until Leon, where we ran into her after leaving the harpsichord concert at the Cathedral. We came out of the church and there she was, still beaming her wonderful smile, which somehow grew even bigger when she saw us. Again, we do not share a common language other than a smile and a willingness to interact. She was sad that she missed the concert.

We walked together on and off from Leon to Santiago and while we did not share a language, we shared the experience and still "conversed" for the entire time. We managed to exchange all the pertinent info and four years later, we are still sharing life, thanks to the google translation app. She now has a beautiful baby boy and has walked 3 additional routes. :)

The Camino is a place for communing with those of a certain mind set. As we all (more or less) share that mind set, the language barrier ( or the lack of any language at all) seems to lose its importance. A shared look is an even more profound connection than words. We just "get it" and our responding look conveys our understanding, encouragement, and/or sympathy.

Our truly wordless experience happened also just before Viana. We came upon a gentleman who was such a peaceful soul that he seemed to float down the path. He walked in Keds, MC Hammer type pants with a simple cotton backpack - I am guessing he doesn't fret about ounces or technological gear (or anything else for that matter). Both my husband and I somehow simultaneously slowed our pace as to absorb the peace emanating off of this person. We just wanted to remain within his orbit for a little bit longer. When we finally passed him, I sheepishly smiled at him and his returning smile said he understood - and that he was fine with our reaction to him. Never saw him after that, but he appears often in our memories and conversations...

Buen Camino!!!
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#7
A Buddhist monk on Camino? Interested in learning more!
Don't know anything about him because our encounter was wordless ;)
And I have never met him again. But I attached the photo I mentioned.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Zwolle, Netherlands to Rome) 2013
Camino Vienna to Santiago de Compostela 2018
#9
I think this is a beautifull thread. I love reading these stories. I don't have a Camino story (yet), but do have a pilgrimage story. Somewhere on my journey to Rome I tried asking for a stamp at a church. I think it was a small town in Switzerland two days before I climbed the Alpes. The woman there was very friendly, but the language barrier prevented converstation between the two of us. She offered me a glass of water and asked me about why I walked this path. I understood the question and wanted to tell her about my reasons, that I walked in the memory of my grandfather. He was like a father to me and died when I was 15 and I never had the chance to truly grieve about his death. But I couldn't tell her because my French wasn't great and my emotions got in the way. But she looked at me and I felt like she looked right in my thoughts. Like she new my story and I didn't have to tell her. So we just stood there. And then she smiled and told me she knew and it would be ok. I felt so much better when walking out of that church. Sometimes no words are needed to explain something :)
 

Fletchonides

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Pamplona (2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (2016)
Burgos - Leon (June 2017)
Leon - SdC (June 2018)
#10
When we walked from Pamplona to Burgos a few years ago, there was an Italian man walking at the same time. He was small, bald head, luxurious moustache, and a huge smile. We never saw him not smiling and we christened him 'Ciao Ciao', because that was always his greeting. We passed each other quite a few times over the course of the days, and he was the person we wished we could have a conversation with, but neither my wife nor I had any Italian. We felt we became Camino companions, and when we arrived in Burgos, we met him and were able to convey that we were heading home. There was a shared sense of having shared something precious together over the days, without having spoken.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#12
I had a wordless encounter on my first camino which was followed by a hugely emotional moment for me.

I was walking from Castlejerez towards Fromistra. There is a section of the path where you can see for miles and miles. Ahead are rolling hills cut with a white path and on the horizon is a small copse of trees on a hill. The day had started quite busy with pilgrims but as we grew closer to Fromistra I was walking alone.

As I walked towards that hill, not thinking about anything in particular and watching a lone tractor ploughing an enormous field, I noticed a gentleman walking towards me. He was out of place with the environment. He wasn't a pilgrim. He wore nicely pressed cream linen trousers (which I thought were too clean and uncreased for a hot dusty walk). He also sported a bright red t-shirt which bore a white Santiago cross on the front... again very nicely pressed. He certainly didn't look like a man that had been walking for a few kilometers on that hot autumn morning. It struck me that he looked like father christmas; he had white hair and a short white beard and looked a little like Richard Attenborough in the film miracle on 34th Street.

I pondered all this as he walked towards me. He had a nice face and he smiled as we approached and held my gaze but we never spoke.

Literally seconds later a memory from my childhood hit my like a train. It was something I had forgotten, a memory I choose to never visit. I started to cry. And a cry turned to a sob. I sat on the side of that path crying for what felt like forever. No pilgrims came... not a soul passed me. After a while I washed my face with my drinking water and took a deep breath and carried on. I felt like I'd left something behind on that spot that I'd been carry for 40 years and my steps felt lighter for it.

I often think about that moment. I often wonder if my perfectly laundered walker was even real? At the time he was very real... but the events that followed and the peace that I felt have often made me wonder? No matter, I am just happy to have crossed his path.
 
#13
Prompted by @Kanga's reaction in the "Celebs" on the Camino-thread, I thought back on some of the more notable human connections I made on the camino, but without the use of words. Kanga wrote "... the best moments I thought were when we're enjoying each other's company in an uncomplicated, unselfconscious, way", and my brain then added 'wordless' for some reason. My brain does that sometimes, nudge me like that. Maybe to make a point, or to ensure that I pay attention. Helpful, most of the time, and this time the occasion for this post.

So the 'wordless' cue took me back to two specific events. The first was in Les Landes, south of Bordeaux on the Vézelay Route. A feared region in the Middle Ages, because it was then a vast and soggy plain, and dangerous to boot because of thieves and robbers who preyed on pilgrims. Today Les Landes is very different: home to Europe's largest maritime-pine forest, green and succulent when I walked there in the spring. But the bleakness and the feeling of remoteness can still echo.

That was at least certainly the case on the sunday morning I walked there. I hadn't seen a single soul in hours, and when I traversed an overpass over the motorway I witnessed an awesome sight. Not a car to be seen or heard. It was dead quiet, almost to the point where it became eerie. I was alone on planet Earth.

And then I saw him, in the distance. A pilgrim on a bicycle, a shell dangling from his panniers, a bandana tied around his head, cycling towards me parallel to the highway. I stood and watched from above, not really thinking, mildly curious. Somehow he became aware of my presence, looked up while pedalling and his face broke open in a beautiful smile. He raised his hand, I raised mine and smiled back and I understood that this was a perfect moment: no words, but a world of meaning. He kept on pedalling wordlessly and I wasn't alone anymore.

The second event was a really heavy one. As I was approaching the Cruz de Ferro almost a month later, I was prepared to place a little pebble I had brought. Mostly out of a sense of form, I confess, because that is what you do at the Cruz de Ferro. But what I wasn't prepared for was the man I would encounter. The weird thing was that I knew something was about to happen when I saw him. A big guy, head shaven and strong looking. He and his wife or girlfriend stood out of the crowd gathered at the Cruz. Something was going on with those two, especially him, and they seemed more 'real' than the rest of the people there.

I had to walk past them to reach the cross and I did that slowly and gingerly. I still don't understand why my body already felt tense and in fight or flight-mode. I was hyper-aware, but it still came as a monumental shock: when I passed the man I got hit by his grief. There is no way I can explain it better. His grief, his heartbreak, was so immense and palpable that it literally slammed the breath out of me. I staggered along, around the mound of rocks and pebbles, and stood shaking by the fence on the other side, holding on to it for dear life. Otherwise I would have collapsed.

Writing this is strange. I remember it vividly, and to see it in writing the whole thing seems overly dramatic. But at the time I was dumbstruck, with tears running down my face, labored breathing, shaking all over and not a clue why this was happening to me. It wasn't my grief, but on another level it was very much my grief. Maybe I recognised something about him, the hard look on his face resembling mine when I hold my own emotions under tight control. It struck a chord, that much was sure.

I watched him place a stone at the foot of the cross while his wife/girlfriend stood back, wrapped up in her own pain. When he came down to her they hugged, and by that time I had recuperated just enough to do my own thing and get the hell out of there. But the placing of my stone had suddenly taken a whole new meaning, it wasn't about a sense of form anymore. When I rumbled down he stood at the bottom of the pile, like he was waiting for me. I looked him in the eye and he returned the gaze for what seemed like a long time. Both our faces still wet we nodded at each other, fully aware of something real but unspoken between us. And then, just like that, we went our separate ways. I almost ran to Acebo after all this but felt really good when I arrived in Ponferrada that afternoon. Like something wasn't weighing me down anymore.

With accounts like these there is always the danger of projection on the part of the narrator, especially when you try to capture the essence of the encounter into words from your own point of view. The other guy probably tells a different story. But somehow I feel that isn't the case with these two events. They both had a quality of deep connection about them, something which is very hard to describe because it is profoundly non-verbal. But they both were so fundamental to my camino that I decided they deserved a post of their own. Maybe you would like to add yours.
This is paraphrased ... and I can’t even remember whose words they are, but their meaning has lived in my consciousness since I first read them.
(Christian Morgenstern possibly?)

‘Until the pain of the ‘other’ becomes our own inner reality, experienced in the ‘I’, the Christ, unrecognised, walks in the world.’

I would like to add ‘and the joy’ to that ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#14
Prompted by @Kanga's reaction in the "Celebs" on the Camino-thread, I thought back on some of the more notable human connections I made on the camino, but without the use of words. Kanga wrote "... the best moments I thought were when we're enjoying each other's company in an uncomplicated, unselfconscious, way", and my brain then added 'wordless' for some reason. My brain does that sometimes, nudge me like that. Maybe to make a point, or to ensure that I pay attention. Helpful, most of the time, and this time the occasion for this post.

So the 'wordless' cue took me back to two specific events. The first was in Les Landes, south of Bordeaux on the Vézelay Route. A feared region in the Middle Ages, because it was then a vast and soggy plain, and dangerous to boot because of thieves and robbers who preyed on pilgrims. Today Les Landes is very different: home to Europe's largest maritime-pine forest, green and succulent when I walked there in the spring. But the bleakness and the feeling of remoteness can still echo.

That was at least certainly the case on the sunday morning I walked there. I hadn't seen a single soul in hours, and when I traversed an overpass over the motorway I witnessed an awesome sight. Not a car to be seen or heard. It was dead quiet, almost to the point where it became eerie. I was alone on planet Earth.

And then I saw him, in the distance. A pilgrim on a bicycle, a shell dangling from his panniers, a bandana tied around his head, cycling towards me parallel to the highway. I stood and watched from above, not really thinking, mildly curious. Somehow he became aware of my presence, looked up while pedalling and his face broke open in a beautiful smile. He raised his hand, I raised mine and smiled back and I understood that this was a perfect moment: no words, but a world of meaning. He kept on pedalling wordlessly and I wasn't alone anymore.

The second event was a really heavy one. As I was approaching the Cruz de Ferro almost a month later, I was prepared to place a little pebble I had brought. Mostly out of a sense of form, I confess, because that is what you do at the Cruz de Ferro. But what I wasn't prepared for was the man I would encounter. The weird thing was that I knew something was about to happen when I saw him. A big guy, head shaven and strong looking. He and his wife or girlfriend stood out of the crowd gathered at the Cruz. Something was going on with those two, especially him, and they seemed more 'real' than the rest of the people there.

I had to walk past them to reach the cross and I did that slowly and gingerly. I still don't understand why my body already felt tense and in fight or flight-mode. I was hyper-aware, but it still came as a monumental shock: when I passed the man I got hit by his grief. There is no way I can explain it better. His grief, his heartbreak, was so immense and palpable that it literally slammed the breath out of me. I staggered along, around the mound of rocks and pebbles, and stood shaking by the fence on the other side, holding on to it for dear life. Otherwise I would have collapsed.

Writing this is strange. I remember it vividly, and to see it in writing the whole thing seems overly dramatic. But at the time I was dumbstruck, with tears running down my face, labored breathing, shaking all over and not a clue why this was happening to me. It wasn't my grief, but on another level it was very much my grief. Maybe I recognised something about him, the hard look on his face resembling mine when I hold my own emotions under tight control. It struck a chord, that much was sure.

I watched him place a stone at the foot of the cross while his wife/girlfriend stood back, wrapped up in her own pain. When he came down to her they hugged, and by that time I had recuperated just enough to do my own thing and get the hell out of there. But the placing of my stone had suddenly taken a whole new meaning, it wasn't about a sense of form anymore. When I rumbled down he stood at the bottom of the pile, like he was waiting for me. I looked him in the eye and he returned the gaze for what seemed like a long time. Both our faces still wet we nodded at each other, fully aware of something real but unspoken between us. And then, just like that, we went our separate ways. I almost ran to Acebo after all this but felt really good when I arrived in Ponferrada that afternoon. Like something wasn't weighing me down anymore.

With accounts like these there is always the danger of projection on the part of the narrator, especially when you try to capture the essence of the encounter into words from your own point of view. The other guy probably tells a different story. But somehow I feel that isn't the case with these two events. They both had a quality of deep connection about them, something which is very hard to describe because it is profoundly non-verbal. But they both were so fundamental to my camino that I decided they deserved a post of their own. Maybe you would like to add yours.
Perky, I am not sure how I managed to miss this post. For a reason it has floated before me now. Indeed, a very strong exposure to the man’s grief...thanks, I will ponder your message and see what I unearth in my own memories.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#15
This is paraphrased ... and I can’t even remember whose words they are, but their meaning has lived in my consciousness since I first read them.
(Christian Morgenstern possibly?)

‘Until the pain of the ‘other’ becomes our own inner reality, experienced in the ‘I’, the Christ, unrecognised, walks in the world.’

I would like to add ‘and the joy’ to that ...
I found a poem or aphorism by Rudolf Steiner from his 'Samaritan Course' (1914). In it he expresses the main issue in nursing, as he was asked to give advice on nursing the wounded:

So lang du den Schmerz erfühlest,
Der mich meidet,
Ist Christus unerkannt
Im Weltenwesen wirkend;
Denn schwach nur bleibt der Geist,
Wenn er allein im eignen Leibe
Des Leidesfühlens mächtig ist.

As long as you feel the pain
That I avoid,
the Christ remains unrecognized
At work within the world being;
For my spirit remains weak
If I am only capable of feeling
Pain in my own body.

You thinking of Christian Morgenstern is an easy mistake, as Morgenstern and Steiner were contemporaries and close friends.
And adding joy to this thought is not only wise, it might even be essential.
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#16
This is paraphrased ... and I can’t even remember whose words they are, but their meaning has lived in my consciousness since I first read them.
(Christian Morgenstern possibly?)

‘Until the pain of the ‘other’ becomes our own inner reality, experienced in the ‘I’, the Christ, unrecognised, walks in the world.’

I would like to add ‘and the joy’ to that ...
It could be lent from the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas whose readings and ideas I greatly admire.
Some more reading...
http://braungardt.trialectics.com/philosophy/20th-century/emmanuel-levinas-1906-1995/levinas-face/
https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/63eny6pk9780252073267.html
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#17
This is paraphrased ... and I can’t even remember whose words they are, but their meaning has lived in my consciousness since I first read them.
(Christian Morgenstern possibly?)

‘Until the pain of the ‘other’ becomes our own inner reality, experienced in the ‘I’, the Christ, unrecognised, walks in the world.’

I would like to add ‘and the joy’ to that ...
Wow, chinacat, this quote gave me goosebumps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#19
I, too, had a wordless moment at Cruz on my first camino in 2015. My son and I were there all alone, each taking our turn with a prayer. After climbing down from the rocks, a couple probably in their early 60's climbed the rocks, hung their heads and gave way to silent tears as I somberly watched them grieve. A great sadness came over me. I could only imagine what loved one they may have lost and could feel their pain. In that silence it was just them and us at this very special heap of stones, a comfort for many hurting pilgrims. Our eyes locked for a long moment, yet no words spoken, before they moved on in what appeared to be great sadness.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September - October 2016 Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port - Leon
September - October 2017 Leon to Santiago
#20
There is of course another way to tell these stories of wordless encounters; I should have thought of that yesterday when I posted them. Some pictures are worth a thousand words, and maybe mine add a backdrop to my post. Thanks @mvanert, @KinkyOne and @ratherbefollowingflechas for sharing your stories.


View attachment 40929
View attachment 40930
Purky, thank you - for when a picture paints a thousand words, and raises a million memories we are again taken to places we hold closest to our hearts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#21
This thread brings a lot to reflect on this Sunday morning.
Thank you @Purky, for thsi beautiful thread, and for all the replies. It seems that I was not the only person to miss this thread when you originally posted it, and how wonderful if is.

Some of the best wordless meetings I've had are with the elders along the way - the ones sitting in the sun in the afternoon watching the peregrinos go by. Some of he old ones appear to delight in the parade of humanity that the camino has brought to their villages - in a delightful way.
On the way to La Faba, along the Valcarce, I met an old guy who was sitting in the sun leaning on his cane. We beamed at each other, and his smile lit up the day. Earlier the same day, in the outskirts of Villafranca, I almost bumped into a lady who was coming out of her door with a mop and bucket. We were both surprised and then the laughter came. It was a delicious moment.
I'd remembered this stage as grim - but these two changed the entire 'chemistry' of the day so I hardly noticed the road and the traffic. It was a surprise to get to La Faba without having been reactive a single time - and still buoyed by their joyful greetings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#22
It will take time for some more of these moments to bubble up, but one stood out last year on the Salvador. A couple watched a cyclist having trouble and decided to wait for him so they could help him. That simple. A beautiful friendship was born, just because two people saw with their hearts... and it added flavour to our shared meal in Benduenos!
 
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    Votes: 200 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 85 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
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