It never ceases to amaze me how many gifts we receive on the Camino. The gifts range from the intangible, such as a feeling of well being, a sense of a higher presence, a calmness in a busy day, a glimpse of the past, and an appreciation of what is ahead.
The gifts can also be tangible such as a piece of chocolate when you are hungry, a glass of water when you are thirsty, a direction when you are lost. Yesterday, at kilometer 21 of 23.5, on a side road, I saw a van driving slowly towards me. As it got closer, the driver handed me a bottle of water, and told me this was from an albergue down the road. This came at the most appropriate time as I had finished all my water a few kilometers earlier.
Likely my most amazing gift came in the evening, when I explained to my newest pilgrim friends from Quebec that I had a slight unfortunate happening earlier in the morning. Although I´ve only been walking a week now, I did notice that my appetite had lessened and I had to cinch my backpack strap a wee bit. That morning, I was reaching for something in the overhead bunk and my pants slipped down… yes, to my knees!
This is something I look forward to experiencing; typically my treking pants have elastic sides that adjust as my weight changes. In this case, my pants are not with elastics, and although they fit losely beforehand, that morning, they just didn´t stay up. “Whohoo” was my first thought, and “Oh my!” was my second. I actually would have to buy a belt or at the very least, a rope! I still have lots of walking to do!
After a few smiles, my pilgrim friend Rene reached into his pocket and handed me a blue top pin, but not just any pin. “This one” he explained “will not open and end up causing you some issues” and he showed me the locking tip.
Doesn´t sound like a big deal to most, but at that moment, it was exactly what I needed.
The gifts of the Camino are endless, and at times, may seem so trivial, but as I have learned over the last few Caminos, each and every one of them come to us at the EXACT time we need them.
Ah, the magic of the Camino!