We don’t see many pilgrims from the US here, but two passed by a couple of days ago. One, had just had a minor operation on his shoulder so was unable, for the time being, to carry his rucksack. He’d sent it on a couple of days ahead and was now walking with almost nothing at all: toothbrush, water, bread and an apple – and a mobile phone. Towards the end of the day he stopped for a coffee, before continuing on his Way, with no idea, and seemingly no concern, about where he would spend the night.
Next day came Ravi, originally from California but living for a long time in France. He also seemed to take life just as it comes. Some days he walks just thirteen kilometres, other days thirty – meeting and chatting to people along the way. He’d started at Le Puy and intended to continue to Santiago on a budget of one euro a kilometre. He urged on me the virtue of gratitude – for everything that happens in our lives.
Two people with the real esprit de pèlerin with their different gifts – acceptance and gratitude. Often we receive more than we give.