Today we took down the tent for the last time. For the last two years it has been the basis of our little centre, Emmaüs, for greeting pilgrims on the Camino. Before that it served us well for family holidays going back more than thirty years. But some of the poles are now bent, the canvas rotting and the rain pours through….
So this, for us at least, marks the end of an era with many happy memories. But it is also the end of the pilgrim season. About four hundred pilgrims have passed through Emmaüs this year. If you were one of them, please leave a comment (in English or French), share your experiences, or, especially, tell us how we might do better next year in welcoming passing pilgrims.
In a couple of days time the new wooden chalet should be delivered. (Look out for photos here!) Once it is up it will need to be fitted out over the winter to make it ready for a new opening in late April 2017!
One thought on “End of Season – End of an era!”
On a hot spring day I was glad of a drink in the shade and appreciated the opportunity to chat – here is an extract from my journal for that day –
A very hot day and quite dehydrating.
My practice of spending time in contemplation in each of the wayside churches and chapels had the additional benefit of giving me a chance to sit in a cool place for a while. Over the last few days I have noticed in the these churches and chapels many large oil paintings done by skilful artists and it is a privilege to be able to sit and enjoy these works in an open unguarded church.
My thoughts for the last few days have all been centred on the nature of communication between man and God, Creator and man. In the meditation of mindfulness there is an aspect of breath awareness as a way of centring these into inner awareness and maybe this is all connected with how we communicate with creation and the Creator.
Late morning, on the way out from the town of Arthez de Bearn, alongside the Way there was a man sitting under an umbrella doing a painting and the sign beside him said pilgrims welcome, come in and have a drink of tea and coffee. I stopped and he invited me to come into the garden where they had a tent set up.
I recognised from his French that he was English, and it turned out that he and his wife were spending two weeks at this house. It had been brought by some friends of theirs for the purpose of offering respite to passing pilgrims, and he and his wife were one of a group of 20 that were covering the entire spring to autumn walking seasons.
I sat having a drink with them, and he said “I sense you are a priest”, and I said that I wasn’t but I am a Reader in the Church of England. Then I mentioned that I had been contemplating the nature of communication with God and how in breathing we are somehow connecting with the name of God. His wife said, “Do you know Richard Rohr? I was just reading him last night and he has quite a lot to say on this very subject.” She went and got the book she had been reading and I took a photograph of it to purchase once I get home. It was called Silent Compassion Finding God in Contemplation. I thought to myself afterwards that this was probably confirmation and an answer to the contemplation I have been doing. Perhaps I was on the right track.
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