Today when I left Burgos, a city that took a solid hour to exit on foot, I had nothing but a good night’s sleep to carry me. My slate was blank. I, impatiently, assumed it would not be a fruitful writing day.
I met up with Elaina and Collin. Collin walked ahead, with a much faster pace. Elaina and I talked about youth group, God, church. And when the conversation ended she suggested a Rosary…she’d start in French and I’d reply in English. Tres Bien!
After our dual language Rosary, I carried on and Elaina took on a gentler pace.
I was immersed in three gifts, one that felt great, and two that felt challenging, though I knew they had purpose.
First, the night at St. Jean Baptiste was still fresh and glorious. Second, Part of my heart was still recovering from wrestling with an angel. They don’t play. And third, the gift of the unanswered question spurred by Burt’s great insight.
The first leg of the 20 kilometers was without a break. No water stops. Only highways and dirt roads, nothing particularly inspiring. I was doing my best to let the questions in me just be, though I’m pretty bad at just being (a lesson I’ve had to learn again and again prior to the Camino).
Then, like an Oasis, the small town of Tarjado, Spain, with one main street and two side streets, there was a cafe at which I saw backpacks. “Surely they have Coffee” I said aloud…to me.
And sure enough they did. And a sandwich…the kind with meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomato…made earlier that day, even. This kind of sandwich, while typical for most people I know, was a real commodity along The Way.
One bite and it was worth twice what I paid (2.5 euro).
Suddenly, a fellow hiker walked up and asked “How are you?” Without hesitation I said, “I’m great!” And I was great. And it only took one bite of a sandwich.
Sometimes, my questioning, my heart inquisition, and my soul quest can seem so important that it takes a long walk and a simple sandwich to remind me of a few truths.
Coffee is nice to sip slowly.
A sandwich changes everything.