A lovely dawn this morning with the sun rising over low lying mist; autumn is approaching.
And today day we closed up for the year, taking down the tent and the shelter and bringing everything inside.
Today a party of four Belgians stopped for lunch at around midday – having been told by someone along the road that this was somewhere where they could shelter. They had hardly left before four more people arrived to take their lunch too.
Yesterday at Navarrenx, where the local parish offers a ‘get-together’ and a drink for the pilgrims every evening, I found myself talking to a German lady about our project; she had noticed Emmaüs when she passed by earlier in the day but had not stopped. She offered the opinion that there were many opportunities for spiritual reflection along the way, but rather few for a rencontre spirituel. That made me think that, however important shelter, coffee and use of the WC may be, we should keep focussed on this aspect of the project.
Clare, who has been here these last two weeks left today, flying from Biarritz airport early this morning. She reports that, on average between 3 and 4 pilgrims have stopped by each day over these last two weeks, with as many as 15 on Saturday a week ago. Many stop to take their lunch in the garden (and use the WC!) and indeed one couple had been encouraged to eat their lunch here by someone they met in the village. This is an encouraging development for it shows that our project is beginning to be known about in the village.
Today a group of fourladies – two French, one German, one Danish – lingered here over their lunch. One was sufficiently moved by one of our ‘reflection sheets’ that she photographed it. I think it may have been this one. (Click on it to see the full text.)