Barbara writes of her week in Arthez:
‘ Enlightenment happens by accident but you can make yourself more accident prone’.
A Bhuddist saying that is applicable both to those who walk the Camino and those who welcome them as I have been doing this past week in Arthez.
Pilgrims pass by every day. To some extent the timing is predictable. Several between 8 and 9 who have come from Arthez about a kilometre away. Few stop for long, anxious to get on their way. Then a group between 10 and 11.30 who have mostly come about 10 kilometres from Pomps where there is a communal gîte. They are often happy to stop for coffee and a brief chat especially if they have chosen to walk only a relatively short distance more. Others come from slightly further back on the route or have stopped to enjoy the beautiful Chapel de Caubin on the other side of Arthez with its first view of the Pyrenees and fascinating history. (To read the text, right click on the photo and enlarge it.) They enjoy being able to relax and have lunch and longer conversations about where they have come from and where they are going, as well as sometimes indicating a deeper purpose to their Camino. This week one woman had decided to change her job and was walking from her home in Belgium to Santiago to help her think through her options.
Allowing myself to be more accident prone I spent time sitting reading or knitting in the front garden. As well as those I spoke to others passed by while I was out or indoors leaving only a used cup or empty biscuit wrapper to indicate their passing.
Several people have been struck by the beauty of our little ‘prayer space’. While none came to our Morning Prayer a couple stopped and prayed and one small group invited me to join them.
So it has been a good peaceful time to relax, enjoy the sun and occasional rain, welcome new people and stretch my horizons.
Barbara met some of this group again at the airport on her way home!