Saturday Oct 29. Lourenza to Abadin. 30 mins, 24.3km.
There’s a well known saying amongst Camino pilgrims, which is “The Camino provides.” Almost every pilgrim will either have a personal experience, or heard from another pilgrim or read about an experience wherein based on a personal need or situation, something unexpectedly turned up and ‘provided’ for said person. Camino forums have many such stories and sharing.
But I am beginning to perceive a different way that the Camino can influence our pilgrimage and walk. I use the verb ‘conspire’ in place of ‘provide’. What do I mean by that?
Firstly, I definitely do not mean to imply any negative or adverse outcomes that typically are implied by this verb, ‘conspire’. Secondly, I do mean that unplanned circumstances/events arise to influence a particular course of action. Thirdly, I do mean that the course of action would not normally have resulted because there was no triggering need/circumstance.
What happened? Well, we had planned to take a bus to an intermediate stage Mondonedo, and then walked the rest of the way to the end stage, Abadin. This was knowing there was a forecast of rain in the 40-60% range from 8am-12pm in the region. We figured we could cope with the rain from Mondonedo to Abadin.
As we waited at the bus stop, another two pilgrims turned up. One was a Spanish (Pedro), the other a Japanese Canadian (Hiro). Pedro was taking the bus to Abadín. He planned to wait out the rain in Abadin before walking further. Pedro was quite adamant that attempting to walk the mountain trails before Abadin was not a wise move. Pedro was in his late 20’s.
There was no arm twisting by anyone but we were persuaded by Pedro’s travel plan. At the end of the bus journey, while having coffee with a Pedro at a cafe in Abadín, we learnt that Pedro was about to start his new job at the Spanish Meteorology Department after his Camino. He had an App that was showing how the rain clouds were being blown across the region! At this point, one could say that the “Camino Provides” as in arranging for Pedro to come to our bus stop and influencing our travel plans.
Where is the “conspire”? It has to do with ‘what is next?’ We now have a consecutive free day. And we only have FIVE days left before arriving in Santiago de Compostela!
Clearly we will spent the time in meditation and contemplation. But a tiny spark in my mind suggested that I should complete reading the spiritual book that I had partially read yesterday. And so I did. And I am now convinced that the Camino conspired to ensure that I read this book and reflected upon it, as part of this Camino experience.
Postscript – it’s a book that I have read multiple times, and I had brought this copy to gift to my sister who I will be meeting in Rome after the Camino! It was as impactful as previously but definitely much needed and at a different point in my spiritual journey.